The problems of fraud and mismanagement in the Nigerian pension sector, according to the PenCom DG, were among the reasons for the Federal Government’s 2004 pension reform.
According to her, the Pension Reform Act of 2004, which was then reviewed and re-enacted in 2014, established legislative and institutional frameworks targeted at eliminating the rot that plagued pension administration prior to reform.
PenCom was established under the Act to govern and oversee all pension concerns in Nigeria, including the licensing of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs). The PRA 2014 also established the Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate (PTAD) to administer the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) for pensioners who are exempt from the Contributory Pension Scheme in a transparent way (CPS). According to Dahir-Umar, these actions “significantly restored credibility and confidence in Nigeria’s pension systems.”
She stated that PenCom has consistently conducted public education, enlightenment, and awareness campaigns on the CPS and other pension matters, in accordance with its statutory mandate under Section 23(f) of the PRA 2014, and that it has also developed and established structures, systems, and procedures that ensure transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the administration of pension in Niger.
According to her, these processes and procedures have served as models for other African countries, with many of them visiting the Commission for study tours.
The DG also hinted that the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion, which have been invested in various aspects of the economy, in her goodwill message at the sensitization programme on “Eradication of Pension Fraud in Nigeria,” held in Abuja in partnership with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).