Cross section of participants at th forum heldvyoday in Lagos.
BY NKECHI NAECHE—-The National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Wednesday outlined some of its achievements since the commencement of its quarterly Consultative Forum for States and the FCT.
The Director General Commission, Hajia Aisha Dahir-Umar disclosed this to participants at the second Consultative Forum organized by the commission for States and the FCT in Lagos, that the collaboration of the Commission and concerted efforts in the various States have led to significant in- roads in the areas of stakeholder engagement, capacity development and implementation milestones.
The DG who was represented by Dr. Dan Ndackson, head states operations Dept of PenCom said that the second quarter has recorded remarkable achievements in ensuring seamless implementation of the CPS in States.
She noted that the Commission, as part of its mandate of supervising the smooth implementation of the CPS and to ensure excellent service delivery especially in state pension administration, the Commission has so far conducted three of such branch inspections in Edo, Ondo and Ekiti States.
She added that more inspections of PFA branches are upcoming, while adding that the Commission is currently utilizing the outcomes of these inspections in ensuring that PFAs take necessary remedial actions to ensure excellent service delivery in the Pension Industry.
She said: “Notable amongst the many achievements within the second quarter are the meetings held with the Governors-Elect (now Governors) of Lagos and Bauchi States. “Furthermore, we are also pleased to note the giant stride taken by the Benue State Government recently by enacting the Benue State Pension Reform Law 2019, in May 2019. Besides joining the league of States that have commenced the process of implementing the CPS, the Benue State Law incorporated all the observations made by the Commission in the draft Bill before passage into law. We are therefore confident that with this sound and sustainable legal framework in place, Benue State’s implementation would not face major challenges.”
The Commission also noted the re-enactment of the Rivers State Pension Reform Law 2019, which repealed the Rivers State Pension Reform Law 2012 as well as the Zamfara State Contributory Pension Scheme Board Law 2019, which established a Contributory Defined Benefits Scheme. While States are at liberty to come up with their own pension laws, the Commission is however, concerned that despite the collaboration with the Commission, several provisions of the pension laws of these two States’ laws that were not in tandem with the philosophy of the CPS were retained despite the Commission’s advice.
She said that the key objective of the CPS is to ensure that all workers receive their retirement benefits as and when due. In recognition of this hallowed mission and also in view of the need to build capacity on the administration of retirement benefits under the Contributory Pension Scheme, the Benefits and Insurance Department would be making a presentation on the Administration of Pension Benefits. In view of your roles as the vanguards in the implementation of the CPS in States and Local Governments, I implore you to be attentive during the course of the presentation and seek clarifications in areas where such is required.