The pension industry regulator expressed pleasure at partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in this awareness creation initiative, which essentially seeks to examine the incidences of fraud in the pension sector in Nigeria and ways of eradicating the menace in a proactive manner.
She added that the development would create the synergy needed to boost the efforts of the two organisations in the discharge of their respective statutory mandates relating to the theme of the workshop.
Going down memory lane, she recalled that the problems of fraud and mismanagement in the pension sector in the country, were amongst the reasons that necessitated the pension reform of 2004 by the Federal Government. The Pension Act 2004, which was later reviewed and re-enacted in 2014, introduced legal and institutional frameworks aimed at addressing the rot that characterised the administration of pensions in the pre-reform era.
As the pension reform in the country has substantially restored credibility and confidence in nation’s pension systems, the PenCom boss disclosed that the industry has accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion, invested in various aspects of the economy and still growing.
Pursuant to its statutory mandate under Section 23(f) of the PRA 2014, PenCom has consistently undertaken public education, enlightenment and awareness campaigns on the CPS and other pension matters. It has also developed and established structures, systems and procedures that ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency in the administration of pension in Nigeria. These systems and procedures have become reference points for other African countries, many of whom have undertaken study visits to the Commission, she stressed.
She emphasised that “the PRA 2014 had strengthened Nigeria’s pension institutions in both the Contributory and Defined Benefits Schemes, and imbued them with the capacity to rise above emerging challenges. Thus, while these institutions explore their respective duties, the continued collaboration with the EFCC would certainly serve as catalyst for reducing the menace of fraud in the pension industry to the barest minimum.”