Cross River To Partner NPC To Implement Pension Scheme
San Francisco, August 09, (THEWILL) - Cross River State has stated its preparedness to partner the National Pension Commission to ensure the implementation of the contributory Pension Scheme in the State.
Governor Liyel Imoke disclosed this while receiving Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru Ahmad, Director General National Pension Commission during a courtesy call in Calabar, Monday, restating government’s determination to continue to serve those who need government most than those who have access to government, adding that the state will create access to rural communities and therefore sees the commission as a partner to the development of the state and country and looked forward to a good working relationship.
Imoke noted that the commission’s workshop for Business Editors, Finance, Insurance and Labour Correspondents in Calabar was not just for Cross Riverians but for all beneficiaries of the scheme, explaining that Cross River on its own part has made efforts to ensure pensioners are paid promptly.
The Governor said the presence of the Commission in Calabar would help at addressing a lot of issues in the state as one of the challenges the state is facing is serving those in retirement while commending the commission for its excellent performance since assumption of office because its commitment to duty is exemplary.
According to Imoke, the commission’s commitment to good governance and integrity coupled with the visit would enable the state participate in the implementation of the contributory pension scheme,
Alhaji Mohammad Kabiru Ahmad Director General, National Pension Commission, who disclosed that his visit was to discuss the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in the State, acknowledged steps taken by the state to implement the scheme as it includes sensitization seminars and workshops for employees, engagement of Labour Unions and other Stake Holders while noting the governor’s continued commitment to the welfare of pensioners by ensuring that they are regularly paid their pensions.
Ahmad, however, appealed to the state to accelerate the full implementation of the scheme while commending it for initiating people oriented activities and programmes geared towards supporting and providing for the less privileged in the society, especially in the areas of free medical care for pregnant women and children under the age of five years as well as the conditional cash transfer to the poorest households in the state.
According to him, the programmes are very much in tandem with the spirit and letters of the Pension Reform Act 2004 (PRA 2004) as it provides for universal pension which could serve as a platform for the realization of the programmes, explaining that one of the pillars of the Act is pension for the informal sector, which if implemented to the letter, would go a long in providing social security for the ordinary people.
He said the Commission has put in place a robust regulatory and supervisory framework for the pension industry that would stand the test of time, adding the Pension Scheme has become as imperative against the backdrop of the structural defects of the old Defined Benefits Pension Scheme while PRA 2004 has provided adequate safeguards which the commission is religiously applying in the interest of the employee and pensioner in particular and the pension industry as whole.
The Director General stated that although the PRA 2004 covers the employees of Federal Government, FCT and the Private Sector, the problem of the old pension scheme was not restricted to those sectors only but extended to all the three tiers of government.