Connect with us

E-News

Senate Urged To Expedite Action On Confirmation Of PenCom’s Board

Published

on

 

The Senate have been urged to expedite action to confirm the appointment of the Chairman, Director General and four Commissioners for the National Pension Commission (PenCom) forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with Section 19 (3) of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
Executive Director, Centre For Pension Right Advocacy, Ivor Takor, who made this call in Lagos, lamented that the absence of the Board and Executive Committee for more than five years, was a setback to the work of PenCom.
He said “The Board of PenCom was dissolved in 2015 or thereabout and for almost five years, the Commission has been without a Board. It has become a convention in Nigeria that once a new administration is sworn in at the Federal level, all Governing Boards of Federal Government Agencies are dissolved and reconstituted at the pleasure of the President. In the absence of the Board, PenCom has been managed by a Director-General and currently by an Acting Director-Director General.”
Takor pointed out that the lawmakers should bear in mind that out of a Board membership of 16, ten of them are Institutional representatives of critical stakeholders in the pension industry, whose inputs are critical in the formulation and provision of general policy guidelines for the discharge of the functions of the Commission; monitoring and ensuring the implementation of policies and programmes of the Commission; and carrying out such other functions as necessary or expedient to ensure the efficient performance of functions of the Commission under the Act.
He maintained that the pension industry looks forward to Senate’s expeditious confirmation of the appointments that will bring a new lease of life in PenCom and the industry that is emerging as the fasted growing industry in the country, creating jobs and value chain across industries within the financial sector of the economy.
The appointment of Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as the substantive DG of the commission, he stated was in line with Section 19 (3) of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
The Section provides that “The Chairman, Director-General and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation by the Senate”. Section 19 (2) provides that the Board of the Commission shall consist of (a) a part-time Chairman who shall be a fit and proper person with adequate cognate experience in pension matters; (b) the Director-General of the Commission; (c) four full-time Commissioners of the Commission; (d) a representative each of the following agencies and institutions: Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; Federal Ministry of Finance; Nigeria Labour Congress; Trade Union Congress of Nigeria; Nigeria Union of Pensioners; Nigeria Employers Consultative Association; Central Bank of Nigeria; Security and Exchange Commission; Nigeria Stock Exchange; and National Insurance Commission,”he added.
By the Organogram of PenCom, he said the Commissioners who together with the Director-General are members of the Executive Committee of Pencom, will be heading various departments of the Commission.
He maintained that it is to the credit of the Acting Director-General of PenCom, Aisha Dahiru-Umar and members’ of the Management Team that PenCom has been able to move the pension industry forward through effective regulation and supervision of the industry; ensuring increased level of compliance by private sector employers; under their watch, small and medium enterprises are increasingly embracing the CPS; expanding the coverage of the CPS through the Micro Pension Plan, which as at June 2020, witnessed 51,974 informal sector workers enrolling into the CPS, contributing N42.1 million; under their watch, RSA registration grew to 9, 039,727 as at second quarter of 2020 growing pension assets to 11.08 trillion naira during the same period; and by ensuring that pension operators are managed by fit and proper persons, thereby ensuring that the industry continue to be insulated from fraud and maladministration thereby securing pension funds and assets.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

E-News

#EndSARSMemorial: Police Tear-gas Protesters At Lekki Tollgate 

Published

on

By

The protest to commemorate #EndSARS first anniversary took a different turn as the police fired teargas at protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos.

Nigerians in Lagos, Abuja and some other states poured into the streets on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

The #EndSARS protest of October 2020 was a campaign against police brutality, harassment, extortion and extrajudicial killing by the special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

Speaking to journalists shortly after, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, said the protesters told him they were going to end the demonstration by 10 am.

Odumosu said any protest beyond the agreed time is constituting a nuisance.

“Between 8am and 10am, anything after 10 am is a nuisance,” Odumosu said.

“I discussed with them and they said they will end the protest by 10 o’clock. Any other person doing it now… that’s nuisance…. that have guns, the ones with machete, hammer, are they protesters or miscreants?

“The protesters are free; they have done their thing and left. Any other person remaining are the miscreants, hoodlums that want to capitalise on that to attack innocent people and start robbing people. We will not allow that.”

The CP also confirmed the arrest of a journalist and said he has ordered his release.

Continue Reading

Business

Onanuga Advocates Functioning Social Security System In Nigeria

Published

on

By

By Sola Alabadan

In view of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, the former Director General of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) said there is the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.

Mrs. Onanuga made this call while delivering the theme paper “Covid-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors” at the sixth edition of the national conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondent (NAIPCO) held recently in Lagos.

She said “The World Bank estimates that the covid-19 crisis will result in 10.9 million Nigerians falling into poverty by January 2022. If we have learned anything, the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have highlighted the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.

However, she lamented that “unfortunately, the social security system in Nigeria is next to zero; so you need to plan for yourself so that if anything happens, you need to be able to stand.”

Mrs. Onanuga stressed  that in this era of COVID-19 pandemic, insurance and pension is what Nigerians need to lean on for a hopeful future.

“If you really want to remain in business, you must take insurance, in the event of sudden occurrence like the pandemic, insurance will help you to stand back on your feet; in the event of you finding that because of the pandemic a breadwinner of a family dies, there must be a buffer to ensure that the family is not affected.

“Therefore, more than ever before, you find out that actually there is need for both insurance and pension products to ensure that we continue to live and meet our need of sustainable living, healthy living, wealthy living and of course, continuity in business. That is why it is important for all of us to identify that we have these needs for growth and continuity by taking up both insurance and pension products,” Mrs. Onanuga said.

In her goodwill message, Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, who was represented at the event by the Commission’s Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, emphasised the need for Nigerians to embrace contributory pension, as a social security safety net.

He said the issue of gathering retirees physically in various locations across the country for verification is now a thing of the past with the online verification and enrolment portal recently launched by the Commission.

According to him, “Before now, we would congregate several retirees in different centres of the country to do the enrolment for the Treasury Funded retirees, and now that can be done online.

“I’m happy to announce that over 3,000 people have been enrolled through our online portal out of 11,000 expected to retire this year.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olorundare Thomas, called on Nigerians in all walks of life to embrace insurance as risk-mitigating mechanism.

The Commissioner for Insurance was represented by Assistant Director, Market Development, Adeyemi Abubakar.

He congratulated the NAIPCO members, for their consistency in organising the conference, as a platform to ensure that they reach out to the public with their reportage on the insurance sector to ensure the growth of the insurance business in Nigeria.

The Commissioner for Insurance reminded NAIPCO of their role as purveyors of information, awareness creation and catalysts of economic growth, just as he solicited the continued cooperation of the Association for the growth of the industry.

He said for the Nigerian insurance market to record significant growth and contributes adequately to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), all hands must be on deck, noting that the media has a critical role to play in this especially in sensitising the public on the benefits of insurance.

Thomas believes that deepening insurance penetration can only be possible through a deliberate and sustained insurance awareness which, he said, will also lead to the realization of the Federal Government’s financial inclusion initiative.

Continue Reading

E-News

Expert Tasks Insurance, Pension Operators On Products That Meet People’s Needs

Published

on

By

COO PenOp, Aguda Oguche (left); Director, Corporate Communications, PenCom, Peter Aghahowa; Mrs Folashade Onanuga, former DG Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Feyisayo Soyewo, Chairman/CEO, Prestige Insurance Brokers (the Chairman of the occasion), Representative of the Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas.
By Sola Alabadan
Former Director General of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, has charged insurance and pension operators on creativity and innovation in their products development and service delivery by focusing on meeting the needs of the people for enhanced financial capacity.
Mrs. Onanuga made this call while delivering the theme paper of the 2021 national conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) titled “COVID-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors” in Lagos today.
She also enjoined the operators to leverage the opportunities thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic to grow the sectors and contribute to the National economy.
While affirming that the pandemic has caused severe disruptions, she pointed out that opportunities have also been created to grow customer base on account of the obvious fact that there is no real social security arrangement by government in the event of sudden and unexpected events and so citizens need to make plans by themselves for wellness both in business and family life.
According to her, “Economic shocks like sudden loss of job, illness or death can send people living just above the poverty line into abject poverty.  So whether one is in the formal or informal sector, there is the need to have a safety net.  The sudden and unforeseen calamities created by the pandemic has highlighted the need to plan for unforeseen circumstances and even early retirement.
To take advantage of these opportunities, she said, the pensions and insurance industries must remain committed to the inclusive growth of the Nigerian economy, creating opportunities for lower income groups to be part of the broader financial system.
She noted that, “Financial inclusion is achieved when adult Nigerians have access to affordable financial products and services that meet their needs. Financial inclusion can only be achieved when financial transaction processes and documentations are transparent, simplified and seen as meeting needs of the people and at the same time being beneficial to the financial services sector.”
“Speaking of insurance, opportunities exist to increase insurance penetration and the customer base, both in the retail and corporate segments of the market if the right moves are made. Insurance penetration has remained at an average of 0.4% of GDP driven largely by a general lack of understanding and awareness of the benefits of insurance products, specifically amongst low-income Nigerians.  We need to build trust. The Banking Sector has managed to bridge this gap to an extent.
“Attempts have been made to improve the performance of the insurance industry through regulation and legislation – new capitalization requirements have been announced and reviews of several key laws are being discussed to bring them up to current realities,” Mrs Onanuga added.
In improving access to insurance and making products and services more inclusive, we are discovering that there is a role for all stakeholders to play.
For pension sector, according to the former LASPEC boss, “inclusive growth in pensions must recognize the peculiarity of the population segment being addressed, adding that This recognition must have an impact on how products are designed and how lower income segments of the population interact with pension funds. If you consider what happens in developed economies, there are different kinds of plans to meet different needs.”
For the trust gap to be bridged, Mrs. Onanuga called on the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to take more advantage of digitization in pension operations to make transactions easier and more accessible by taking example of what the banks have done to provide banking services to lower-income population groups by ensuring that structures are put in place before the release of pension laws to ensure that all aspects of the law are implementable.

Continue Reading