by crossriverwatch admin
The National Pension Commission today, Friday commissioned its’ South South Zonal office in Diamond Hill, Calabar.
The Acting Director General of the Commission, Ms. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu said the Commission thought it expedient to establish zonal offices in all the six geopolitical zones of the country as way of decentralizing it activities to bring its services closer to the people in the expectation that retirees, active workers, and other stakeholders will tap the opportunities offered by such proximity to lodge their complaints, seek education and demand for sensitization.
The event drew guests from government, private sector and labor, who were informed that the commission in its eight years of existence has generated a pool of investible funds to the tune of N3.34 trillion Naira which have been invested in various financial instruments to boost the smooth functioning of the pension scheme in the country.
The Acting DG who gave the figure in her address at the commissioning also added that the commission has registered 3.56 million participants in the Pension Scheme during the period.
Ms. Anohu-Amazu said generating the pool of funds is to ensure that every person both in the public or private sector receives his or her retirement benefits as and when due which is the cardinal reason for the establishment of the National Pension Commission.
“The Pension Reform Act which was signed into law on the 25th of June 2004 sought to address in a comprehensive manner the perennial problems associated with pension schemes in both private and public sectors. It created the Pension Commission to regulate, supervise and ensure effective administration of pension matters in Nigeria so that everyone who has worked in the public or private sector receives his or her pension at retirement”.
Senator Liyel Imoke, the Cross River State governor in his remarks said the 3.34trillion Naira should be granted as loans to state governments and other agencies of government to develop infrastructure rather than allow the money rotate among financial institutions which would not invest such funds to the benefit of the people.
“State governments hardly default in repayment of loans; at least we in Cross River State know that, so the ideal thing to do is to allow the state governments have access to such funds which can be used for the development of infrastructure”.
He said the Pension Commission is one agency that has fulfilled its purpose for its establishment shaming those who did not want it created.
“There was heated debate on whether to create such a commission because there was doubt if it would work in Nigeria but for the doggedness of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, we would not have seen the benefits we are seeing today in the commission”.
Comrade Isa Aremu the vice President of the Nigeria Labor Congress said the figures of contribution show that more of the funds come from the public sector which should not be the case but rather should be private sector driven, “but factories are closing down and we have become a container economy where we import everything and this has caused the private sector to shrink”.
He said the effort of the Pension Commission is commendable because it has changed some of the bad stories that characterized pension schemes in the past.
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