By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu – The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it has enrolled no fewer than 8.5 million people into the Pension Contributory Scheme since its inception 15 years ago.
Mr Peter Aghahowa, Head of Communication Department of PenCom made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair.
NAN reports that the scheme introduced in 2004 by the Federal Government was a process where certain percentage of enrollees’ salaries was saved on monthly basis in a pool with the employers also contributing.
The scheme had PenCom as the regulatory body with Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) working in their behest.
Aghahowa said that the scheme had made the life of retirees much easier, unlike the defined benefits scheme which it replaced.
He however, said it was sad that in spite of the enormous advantages inherent in the scheme, some state governments had yet to embrace it to make life better for retirees in their respective states.
“The federal government went into the contributory scheme as the old scheme became unsustainable due to huge debt deposits.
“This new scheme is funded ab initio and it reduces the financial load on government,” he said.
Aghahowa said that it had become imperative for every state of the federation to queue into the scheme for easy pension administration.
The PenCom spokesperson however, said that in spite of current challenges facing certain pensioners under the old scheme, more funds were being released for pensioners that started under the defined benefits scheme. (NAN)