WELCOME REMARKS BY AISHA DAHIR-UMAR, DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL PENSION COMMISSION, AT THE SENSITIZATION CONFERENCE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS ORGANIZED BY THE COMMISSION ON 24 NOVEMBER, 2022 AT ROCKVIEW HOTEL ROYALE, PLOTS 194/196, CADASTRAL ZONE A8, ADETOKUNBO ADEMOLA CRESCENT, WUSE II, ABUJA
Distinguished Ladies and GentlemenI am highly delighted to welcome you all to this sensitization Conference for Civil Society groups. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Enhancing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme: The Roles of Civil Society Groups’.
This conference provides a great opportunity for the Commission to enlighten and interact with relevant Civil Society Groups in order to elicit better understanding of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and the Commission’s activities in general. Distinguished participants, this Conference, which is the second in the series, has become quite imperative due to your critical roles as the bridge between government agencies and the public, thus, the need to constantly interact and inform you of recent developments in the pension industry and some of the other laudable transformational initiatives by the Commission.
The Micro Pension Plan (MPP) was conceptualized to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs. I am pleased to inform you that members of the Civil Society Groups are also welcome to participate and save for their old age. The MPP aims to curb old-age poverty by assisting the participants to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they are no longer in active working life.
Given the peculiarities of the target participants, the Commission is facilitating efforts by the Pension Fund Administrators to provide incentives for the MPP. One key incentive that is being worked upon is the provision of health insurance to the Micro Pension contributors. This recognizes the need for the MPP to provide more access to health care services, which is often lacking in critical times of need.The Strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) remains one of the important areas of focus of the Commission.
Therefore, it is the Commission’s expectation that the learning points from this conference would be disseminated to your target audience and the larger society, in addition to creating awareness and deepening the understanding of members of the CSGs, the conference should also elicit their participation in the MPP. Distinguished participants, the current Commission’s leadership is focused on transforming the pension sector. Some of the recent significant accomplishments by the Commission include the issuance of the Guidelines on Accessing 25 percent (%) of RSA Balance towards payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA holders.