The National Pension Commission, PenCom has said that the country’s current economic challenges throws up the challenge for government to innovate and be prudent in resource management so as to be able to meet with other demands of governance.
The Director General, DG of the Commission, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu who gave the charge in Kaduna state at the launch of commencement of payment of retirement benefits to retirees in the state under the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, noted that the situation provide an opportunity to implement strategies for effective financial management by the States.
According to her, The huge liabilities which usually build up in the old Defined Benefits Scheme can be mitigated by the adoption and implementation of the CPS by States in the Federation.
She explained that the CPS provides a mechanism for eliminating these liabilities while the regular contributions into the scheme are undoubtedly less burdensome.
The DG assured all State governments that the Commission would continue to provide all necessary support towards full implementation of the CPS, adding that the Commission has empowered its zonal offices in the six geo-political Zones of the country to collaborate with the State Governments in that regard.
“In addition, we are also working on the introduction of the Micro Pension initiative to serve the informal sector of the economy which is dominant in States nationwide” she said.
Anohu- Amazu stated that she was highly elated to be part of the remarkable event and that the milestone was engendered by the diligence of the current Kaduna State Government in its renewed efforts at implementing the CPS.
She commended the state Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai for his exceptional leadership in providing a renewed impetus to the implementation of the CPS for the benefit of employees of the Kaduna State Government.
She explained that the main essence of the Pension Reform of 2004 was to ensure that retirement benefits are paid when due and in a sustainable manner.
Anohu- Amazu further noted that the revised PRA 2014 sought to deepen the Pension Reform in recognition of the modest gains recorded within the first decade of implementation.
“It therefore extended coverage of the CPS to States and Local Governments. The Commission has enhanced support to the States in facilitating their implementation of the CPS by providing a bespoke technical assistance of guided implementation, through our restructured State Operations Department. I am pleased to note that the Kaduna State Government has taken full advantage of this support with outstanding results achieved in a short span of time.
We are happy that one of our competent staff, Dr. Dan Ndackson, an indigene of Kaduna State, is currently serving as the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, driving this change process towards full implementation of the CPS.
It is also gratifying that the Bureau is focused on acquiring the appropriate Information and Communication Technology infrastructure, the Pension Management System (PMIS) in order to facilitate seamless operations” she said.
He assured the Governor that the Commission would continue to provide the required support towards ensuring that Kaduna State attains full implementation status of the CPS.