Adequate measures in place for safety of pension funds – PenCom

By Favour Nnabugwu



The National Pension Commission (PenCom) said adequate structures have been put in place to ensure the safety of pension funds in the industry

PenCom also promised to continue to develop and implement innovative polices to foster safety and fair returns on pension fund investment as the pension industry and financial system evolves.

The Commission said it is taking strategic steps to encourage more participation of workers from the informal sector of the economy in the Micro Pension Plan in order to expand the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

These disclosures were made yesterday by the Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, at the 2022 Workshop organized by PenCom to journalists in Lagos.

The DG who was represented at the Workshop by the Head of Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Abdulqadir Dahiru, said the theme of this year’s workshop, “Increasing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The case for Micro Pension Plan”, aligns with the Commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS.

She stated that the objective is to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the Informal Sector and those who are Self Employed through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP), noting that “it is of utmost importance to educate the media on the MPP and enlist your support to make the Plan popular amongst informal sector workers and the self-employed.

She said the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion. was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets.

PenCom DG informed the journalists that as at June 30, 2022, the number of registered contributors and the pension fund assets stood at 9,795,957million and N14.27 Trillion, respectively.

She said it is expected that the recapitalization exercise will bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.

In his presentation at the Workshop entitled “What you Need to Know About the Investment of the Micro Pension Fund (Fund VI,”  Mr. Ibrahim Kangiwa, Head, Investment Supervision Department National Pension Commission listed the Benefits of Micro Pension Fund Investments to the economy and to the contributor, stating that the Commission is committed to ensuring the safety of Micro Pension Fund and the investments.

According to him, the Commission is committed to ensuring the safety of pension funds and structures have been established in this regard.

“As the pension industry and financial system evolves, the Commission would also continue to develop and implement innovative policies to foster safety and fair returns on pension fund investment,” he added.

The Head of Micro Pensions Department, Mr. Dauda Ahmed, in his presentation entitled “The Micro Pension Plan: Bringing Financial Security at Old Age to the Doorsteps of the Informal Sector,” he listed the benefits of Micro Pension Plan.

He said Micro Pension Plan will improve the standard of living of the elderly as it provides a regular stream of benefits at old age; provide access to other incentives and secures financial autonomy and independence of retirees amongst other benefits.

Speaking on the topic “The Administration of Retirement Benefits Under Micro Pension Plan,” the Head of Benefits & Insurance Department, Mr. Obiora Ibeziako, gave insights into the benefits administration of MPP which he said is divided into two – Contingent Withdrawal and Retirement Benefits Withdrawal

According to him, Withdrawals/accessing benefits shall be two types reflecting the flexibility incorporated in the treatment of the contributions.

Lekki Free Zones is economic powerhouse – Hon. Gbande

By Favour Nnabugwu



House of Representative Committee on Commerce and Trade has  described the Lekki FTZ Quadrant of the country as a new economic powerhouse harbouring 25 billion US dollar investment.

The committee also urged the federal government to hasten up the rail-line construction to avoid Apapa Port tragic experience.

The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Richard Gbande stated this while he led some members of the committee on inspection of the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Free Zone, and the Dangote Free Trade Zone Enterprises in Lagos yesterday.

Gbande said that the concept of the free trade zone had revolutionised the development of the Lekki axis of Lagos once upon a time considered as an undeveloped “peninsular’’.

The lawmaker explained that the Federal Government had incredibly used the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to promote the free zone scheme in an amazing manner.

Gbande also noted that the government’s relentless efforts in trying to diversify the economy resulted in the development of the Lekki Quadrant which would undoubtedly become the country’s new economic powerhouse.

“We have gone round as part of our oversight functions to see this magical economic enclave called Lekki Quadrant and it is indeed a sight to behold.

“The committee is particularly enthused with the conversion of the peninsular to a majestic business city that boasts of the Deep Sea Port, Dangote Refinery, and over 200 other enterprises sustaining the country’s economy.

“For the umpteenth time, NEPZA’s inexorable push to carry out its mandate and mission of galvanising both the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Local Direct Investment (LDI) must be supported. We can see how difficult these tasks are with the prevailing environment,’’ he said.

The deputy chairman of the house committee on commerce, further pointed out that the Ministry of Transport must hasten the construction of railway lines in the Lekki free zone area for seamless movement of cargoes.

Gbande also explained that the new Minister of Transport should urgently move and work toward implementing the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on the urgent need to construct road and rail infrastructure across that part of Lagos.

“The legislative body is prepared to appropriate funds for the construction of road and rail system for this important national economic gateway without delay. Already, we are late as both the deep sea port and the refinery shall open for operation by September and January respectively.

“The president may want to re-issue that directive again to show the importance he attaches to the development of these all important outside infrastructure in the Lekki free zone quadrant.

“The government must avoid repeating the recurrent gory experience of failed Apapa Sea Port logistic system with the Lekki free zone quadrant,’’ Gbande said.

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba expressed delight on the inspection tour carried out by the committee members, adding that it had obviously spurred them to become advocates of the free zone scheme.
Adesugba said that the NEPZA was up to the task of using the scheme to industrialise the country for the greater good of the citizens.

He corroborated Gbande’s call for the development of both the road and rail infrastructure for the Lekki free zone corridor to avoid catastrophic logistic failures.


NEPZA meets House Committee on Commerce & Trade in Lagos

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) meet with the House Committee on Commerce and Trade at a function in Lagos yesterday.



L- Alhaji Muazu Ruma, Technical Adviser Zones Development NEPZA, Senator Tijani Yahaya Kaura, MD/CEO OGFZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, MD/CEO NEPZA, Hon (Dr.) Richard Gbande, Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Trade, Mr. Adekunle Ajayi, Director OGFZA, at a function in Lagos