The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) has uncovered a startling statistic: approximately 63 million workers in Nigeria have yet to participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) managed by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
Dr. Onyeka Okoh, Chairman of the institute’s Enugu State branch, disclosed this concerning news during an interactive session on the Contributory Pension Scheme for the Organized Private Sector, jointly hosted by PenCom and the National Employers Consultative Association in Enugu.
According to Okoh, only 10 million workers in Nigeria have enrolled in the pension scheme, a fact he attributes to deep-seated corruption within the country. While federal employees and multinational corporations have embraced the provisions of the Pension Scheme Act of 2014, a significant portion of the workforce, particularly in the informal sector, remains outside the fold.
Okoh underscored that corruption is a formidable barrier to higher enrollment, insisting that for Nigeria to make progress in pension reform, corruption must be addressed head-on. He emphasized that multinational companies have been more successful in complying due to their structured operations. However, many privately owned companies in Nigeria struggle to conform to the PenCom scheme.
Uzochukwu Chime, Chairman of NECA, highlighted the transformative impact of the Pension Reform Act of 2014 on retirement in Nigeria. He expressed that prior to the implementation of this act, retirement was fraught with uncertainty and unpredictability. However, the pension reform has brought about a positive shift in the narrative.
Chime acknowledged that no system or process is without room for improvement and praised the continuous enhancements and innovations in pension administration under successive PenCom leadership. He also stressed the significance of such interactive sessions in providing critical feedback to improve the operationalization and administration of the pension scheme.
Furthermore, Chime reiterated the private sector’s commitment to the success of the pension scheme, emphasizing that addressing their concerns promptly is pivotal to its continued success.
The revelation of 63 million Nigerian workers not participating in the Contributory Pension Scheme has exposed the challenges stemming from corruption and inadequate compliance. However, the commitment of both the public and private sectors to address these issues is a promising step toward expanding pension coverage and ensuring a more secure retirement for Nigeria’s workforce.