Only 1.78 per cent Nigerian workforce is captured in the pension pot of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and have a secured life after retirement, a report obtained by The Nation has shown.
The report released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) indicated that the 1.78 per cent represents 8.79 million workers captured under the Scheme.
Besides, the number of workers in the country increased from 8.63 million contributors at the end of the preceding quarter of 2019 to 8.79 million during the second quarter of 2019.
The membership growth however represents only 29 per cent of about 30 million work force under the formal sector, out of the 200 million population of the country.
It also represents 8.7 per cent of the overall 100 million working population of the country.
Meanwhile, the country’s total pension fund assets hit N9.32 trillion in June 2019.
The commission attributed the growth in scheme membership to the increased level of compliance by the private sector.
It stated that the compliance by the private sector is as a result of the various steps taken by the commission to improve compliance and coverage, as well as marketing strategies of the pension managers, the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
Suffice to state that the informal sector constitutes an estimated 70 million work force in the country and represents an estimated 88 per cent of Nigerian workers that lack pensions and safety nets for their old age.
To capture more workers under the safety nets, the Federal Government through PenCom said her goal is to achieve coverage of 30 million people in the informal sector by 2024. This according to the commission will be achieved through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) launced by President Muhammadu Buhari in March, this year.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos, the Acting Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar said the MPP which is an initiative of the commission is aimed at the provision of pension services to self-employed persons in the informal sector and employees of organisations with less than three staff.
She said: “The commission planned extending pension coverage to 30 million contributors by 2024, thereby ensuring that 40 per cent adult Nigerians are covered under the CPS. President Mohammadu Buhari, in March, 2019, launched the micro pension scheme to provide the informal sector with a veritable means of securing old age income.
“We believe that the implementation of the MPP would yield positive results for Nigerians and the industry. We have put in place requisite infrastructure to facilitate seamless implementation of MPP. The Enhanced Contribution Registration System (ECRS) has been deployed to facilitate seamless operations of the MPP. This system has so far aided the smooth registration of micro pension contributors.”