July 7, 2014 – President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria said on Monday that the nation’s contributory pension fund has accumulated to $27.2 billion about N4.21 trillion by March, 2014.
The President made the revelation while speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ in Abuja, capital of Nigeria.
He said the fund grew from a deficit of $12.9 billion in 2004 to $27.2 billion in March this year.
“Furthermore, as provided by the Act, we have restructured the system of administration of the defunct Defined Benefits Scheme in the public service, by setting-up the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) and appointing its substantive Head, in order to improve the scheme. Our goal is to digitize pension payments and streamline payment procedures to ensure prompt and ease of payment of pension benefits.
“ Six days ago, I signed into law, the new Pension Reform Act 2014, which repealed the 2004 Pension Reform Act. The new law seeks to consolidate the gains of reform, address the identified implementation challenges and provide the enabling legal environment to facilitate the creation of quality instruments through which pension assets could be best invested for infrastructure and real estate development”, he said.
He said he is confident that the fresh initiatives will help to consolidate the remarkable achievements recorded by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme, over the last ten years, for the benefit of contributors, and the entire economy.
“It is our expectation that PenCom would put in place the necessary regulatory and supervisory framework to facilitate and accelerate the objectives of the reform. Most especially, ensuring the safety of pension assets and hence, workers’ security in retirement”, the Nigerian President said.
He said it is encouraging that a number of African countries have visited Nigeria, to understudy the pension reform and share ideas which he believes can be useful to the entire continent.