Misbahu Umar, the Chairman of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, on Tuesday said six million contributors had registered for the contributory pension scheme since inception in 2004.
Umar made this known at the ongoing World Pension Summit Africa Special in Abuja.
He said there was need for continuous regulation and strengthening of institutional structures of the country’s contributory pension scheme to enhance pension assets and infrastructure development.
Umar urged pension regulators to intensify public education about pension with a view to bringing the remaining unregistered work force into the scheme.
He said out of over 70 million workers in Nigeria, only six million had been registered, stressing the need to incorporate informal sector into the scheme.
According to him, the country is a big economy with Gross Domestic Product of $520 billion, with the population of about 170 million people, but has infrastructure deficit.
Demola Sogunle, the Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, said the use of technology was key to the success of contributory pension scheme in the country.
Sogunle traced the history of pension administration in Nigeria back to 1951 when the Pension Ordinance was introduced, adding that the pension system as at that time was retrogressive.
He said the establishment of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund in 1993 could not solve the pension problems which the current scheme had addressed.
Sogunle said the current contributory scheme had instilled saving culture in Nigerian workers, as well as having reasonable investment returns.
He added that the private sector now constituted about 50 per cent of the contributors.
Kunle Jinadu, the Managing Director of First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited, stressed the need to avert failure of the scheme through continuous regulation.
Jinadu said that PFAs were still faced with some problems arising from lack of proper documentation of employees by their employers, non-remittance of contribution and non-compliance with standards.
He advocated full automation of the scheme to meet with the international financial regulatory standard.