Less Than 10 Percent Of Nigerians Subscribe To Pension Fund Scheme

Source: thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, May 02, (THEWILL) – Susan Oranye, Executive Secretary, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), has revealed that that only about 6.9 million out of about 170 million (less than 10 percent) Nigerians have keyed into the scheme resulting in N5.3 trillion contribution within the period.

Making this disclosure at the 2016 Workers' Day celebration at Onikan Stadium in Lagos, Oranye added that contrary to the N20 trillion being touted as the total contribution, the actual contribution from those 6.9 million employees across the country stood at N5.3 trillion.

“There has been marginal growth since May 1 last year, and there is still a lot to be done by encouraging Nigerians to see the benefit of pension at retirement,” she said.

“As at first quarter of the year, the total fund was N5.3 trillion. Since May last year till now the industry has grown and that is an indication that workers are paying pension in preparation for their retirements. People understand the importance of a pension that is why they are joining the contributory pension.

“There is a lot of work to be done because we have 6.9 million people as contributors. This is a drop in the ocean when you consider the population of the country, though we have progressed but we are aware that there is still work to be done, if we need to reach N60 trillion mark.

“There is dignity in labour, Nigerian workers deserve to still have their financial dignity in retirement also. Something can be said for the independence you enjoy when you have a steady pensions coming in to help maintain a decent standard of living for your loved ones when you retire.

“It can only get better. The Nigerian economy is going through a bad parch. But they usually say after the nightfall, the sun comes out. So, the growth may not be as good as we may have wanted because of the current economic situation with retrenchments and businesses going out.

“This will have an effect on employment, and as long as the businesses within the economy thrive and people are working everyday there will be important of pension.”

THEWILL notes that the industry has already set agenda to grow the contributory base to approximately 20 million by 2025. Oranye, who owes this to improved employment in the country, said the industry was buoyed for a double figure in contributory base in the next two years.

“The industry strategic direction is the 10 years primary focus. In 2025, we will be hoping to raise the number of contributors to 20 million. We can say by 2017 or 2018 we would have doubled the figure. We are optimistic and for that to happen the employment rate really need to settle,” she said.

Story by David Oputah