A collaboration that will tackle corruption in the administration of pension fund in the country is underway between the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Speaking in Abuja, at a workshop titled, ‘Eradication of pension fraud in Nigeria,’ Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar said the Commission is willing to examine the incidences of fraud in the pension sector in Nigeria and ways of eradicating the menace proactively.
She explained that the partnership will create the synergy needed to boost the efforts of the two organisations in the discharge of their respective statutory mandates.
The PenCom boss recalled that unmitigated cases of corruption in pension administration birthed the current contributory system to eliminate sharp practices.
She added: “The Pension Reform Act 2004, which was later reviewed and re-enacted in 2014, introduced legal and institutional frameworks aimed at addressing the rot that characterized the administration of pensions in the pre-reform era.”
Dahir-Umar highlighted that the Act also established PenCom to regulate and supervise all pension matters in Nigeria, including the licensing of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs).
Indeed, the Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate (PTAD) was also established by the PRA 2014 to administer, in a transparent manner, the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) for pensioners that are exempted from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
These measures, she stressed, substantially restored credibility and confidence in Nigeria’s pension systems.
She hinted that the pension industry now boasts of accumulated pension assets over N13 trillion, invested in various aspects of the economy and still growing.
She stressed that PenCom has developed and established structures, systems and procedures that ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency in the administration of pension in Nigeria, saying these systems and procedures have become reference points for other African countries, many of whom have undertaken study visits to the Commission.
She was however quick to observe that retrogressive elements continued to exploit procedural gaps in the operations of pension practitioners in both the CPS and DBS to the detriment of the unsuspecting public, which is creating new issues and challenges.
The emergence of new challenges as the implementation of the new scheme grows has also placed special responsibility on the regulators, the operators and other stakeholders to constantly review their operating environment to find solutions to address the problems.
Expressing optimism, Dahir-Umar stated that the PRA 2014 had strengthened Nigeria’s pension institutions in both the Contributory and Defined Benefits Schemes, and imbued them with the capacity to rise above emerging challenges.
She enthused that continued collaboration with the EFCC would certainly catalyse reducing the menace of fraud in the pension industry to the barest minimum.Follow us on social media