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FG to ensure retirees benefit from pension reforms

He highlighted the commitment of the current administration to prioritising the welfare of citizens and ensuring pension policy in Nigeria ranked amongst the best globally.

Dr Chioma Ejikeme, the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) engages with pensioners. [Twitter/@PTADNigeria]

He also assured that would ensure that the reforms were effectively implemented in the interest of beneficiaries.

Arabi made this known in Abuja on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ workshop on the Identification of Effective Implementation of Reform Modalities in Nigeria’s Pension Administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is focused on reviewing pension reforms and administration in Nigeria, highlighting progress, challenges and the way forward.

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He said Nigeria’s pension system from the colonial Pension Ordinance of 1951 to the Pension Reform Act 2004 has introduced the Contributory Pension Scheme for workers in the country.

He said despite these reforms, challenges persisted including non-compliance by some state governments, delays in payment of pension benefits, bureaucratic bottlenecks and unreliable records.

According to him, the BPSR will ensure that every person who worked in either the public or private sector in Nigeria receives his/her retirement benefits.

“It is our duty to ensure that these reforms are not just on paper but are effectively implemented to benefit our retirees.

“The Pension Reform Act of 2004 marked a pivotal moment in the history of our pension system. It introduced the Contributory Pension Scheme, a mandatory initiative aimed at providing a sustainable and reliable framework for the retirement benefits of all employees in Nigeria.

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“However, despite these well-intentioned reforms, challenges persist, and it is essential for us to identify and address the gaps hindering the realisation of these objectives,” he said.

The director-general highlighted some key objectives of the workshop as exploring effective operationalisation of pension administration, bridging institutional challenges, and developing strategies for sustainable reform.

“Stakeholders from various sectors, including government agencies, the National Pension Commission, and the National Labour Congress are invited to provide insights and experiences,” he said.

He further explained that BPSR would also advise the government on how to build a sustainable and effective pension system.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, has emphasised the importance of continual reassessment of the pension administration process to ensure efficiency, transparency and benefits for pensioners.

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Akume, who was represented by Dan’Azumi Dahiru, a Director in SGF’s office, urged stakeholders to work together to identify evidence-based reform modalities aligned with Nigeria’s national development priorities.

He highlighted the commitment of the current administration to prioritising the welfare of citizens and ensuring pension policy in Nigeria ranked amongst the best globally.

He then called for synchronisation of activities among agencies working on pension issues and emphasised the need for digitalisation to streamline pension administration.

Bukar Talba, the Chairman, Committee on Public Sector and Institutional Reforms, House of Representatives, said the social security for the working class and older people was a huge responsibility that must be safeguarded like every fundamental right.

According to him, pension reform is a complex and critical topic that addresses the restructuring of the retirement system to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

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The Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Chioma Ejikeme, said that prior to the establishment of PTAD in 2013, the old pension offices faced overwhelming challenges.

In a paper titled, Pension Transition-Bridging the Gap and Setting Modalities Right, she said that these challenges were an accumulation of several negative incidents and inactions on the part of the old Pension offices and government that resulted in the absence of a comprehensive database of pensioners.

NAN also reports that the workshop is with a call for continued cooperation and commitment to the reform process to ensure a prosperous future for Nigeria’s pensioners.

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