PENCOM extends coverage to informal sector

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National Pension Commission

The National Pension Commission (PENCOM) on Friday gave the assurance that it was ready to cover the outstanding 60 per cent of the populace in its micro-pension scheme, to secure the future of informal sector employees.

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Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amaizu, the Director-General of the commission, said this while answering questions from reporters in Lagos.

According to Anohu-Amaizu, PENCOM will collaborate with groups such as Organised Labour, Civil Society groups, Road Transport workers and others, to achieve the objective.

She said that people in the informal sector of the economy needed to be captured in the scheme, to guarantee some steady income for them in their post-work era.
“The micro-pension scheme is ready to capture even people in Nollywood and the music sector. When some actors or musicians are no longer performing, they find it difficult to be able to live well.

“People in the entertainment industry earn millions today, but many of them may have no plans for the rainy day. Which explains why it is pertinent to capture them in the micro-pension scheme,’’ she said.

The PENCOM chief stressed that the informal sector employees must, however, be ready to save some money for the future, adding that the country was now encountering problems with earnings from oil because it did not leave money in the reserves during the oil boom era.

She said that the commission had started sensitising workers in the textile industry on the issue and that it also had plans to extend the initiative to the road transport workers.
“We have identified the groups to work with. We will soon begin sensitisation for the workers to enable them to understand the importance of what they are going into, before we will start the scheme,’’ she said.

Anohu-Amaizu, however, disclosed that the commission’s contributory pension scheme had so far harnessed about N5.3 trillion which was safely invested, stressing that PENCOM’s activities were governed by its enabling law.

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