The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it is intensifying efforts to introduce the informal sector to the Contributory Pension Scheme in 2018. It also disclosed that its special department saddled with the responsibility was planning to drive the initiative with technology using mobile phone applications.
“Special mobile phone applications had been successfully implemented in some jurisdictions for financial transactions, including provision of pension services to the self-employed and informal sector workers,” PenCom stated.
The commission has segmented the informal sector into three categories of low income earners, high income earners and the small and medium enterprises. It said it would design appropriate pension products and enlighten people in the segments on the essence of the scheme.
The commission said it was ensuring a robust technological platform that would support the provision of customer services to effectively and efficiently register, collect contributions, provide Retirement Savings Account (RSA) support, pay benefits and provide financial advisory services to the contributors.
The commission stated that it had already commenced the sensitization of service providers and relevant regulators, as well as the targeted workers in the informal sector with a view to creating the enabling environment.
“As this category of workers constitute the larger percentage of the working population in the country, there is no doubt that to achieve the pension industry’s strategic objective of covering 30 per cent of the working population in Nigeria under the CPS by the end of 2024, all efforts should be made to extend coverage to this important segment of the Nigerian economy,” the commission stated.
The regulatory body added that about 7.7 million public and private sector workers had registered under the CPS as at the end of September 2017. According to the commission, this figure rose from 7.3 million registered workers at the end of 2016.