By Nnamdi Duru
Nigeria’s contributory pension scheme has grown at an average rate of 27.05 per cent annually in the nine-year period spanning 2004 and 2013.
The scheme, set up in 2004, also succeeded in reversing and plugging the N2.6 trillion pension hole that weighed on the pension system in 2004 and accumulated as much as N3.73 trillion as at October 2013.
The Acting Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, showcased the achievement to the international community at the just concluded 2013 World Pension Summit in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
A statement yesterday by the Head of Communications at the commission, Mr. Emeka Onuora, quoted her as saying that the country’s pension hole that was as deep as N2.6 trillion nine years ago has been made good even as accumulated pension assets in the country have risen to N3.73 trillion as at October 2013.
This translates to a cumulative growth of 243.46 percent in nine years or 27.05 percent year-on-year growth for the nine years.
The statement also stated that this was made possible by federal government’s conversion to defined contributory pension system from the defined benefit non-contributory pension scheme in 2004.
“The pension assets had shifted from a growing deficit of N2.6 trillion prior to its inception to an accumulation of N3.73 trillion pension assets within the nine years of the existence of the scheme.
“The contributory pension scheme was “sustainable, fully funded and privately managed by operators licensed by PenCom. The legal and institutional frameworks established by the commission have led to the registration of over 5.8 million members and the pool of pension assets generated has aided the deepening of Nigeria's financial sector.
“They have also provided a platform for the provision of infrastructure and the development of the real sector, thereby reinforcing the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan,” she said.
Anohu-Amazu led a delegation from the commission to the summit, which is an annual event dedicated to ongoing and advanced learning for senior pension professionals and it also offers comparative analysis of pension experiences in participating countries, insight into the impact of emerging trends on pension arrangements and ample room for peer-to-peer discussion among delegates.