Abuja, May 27,2019 Dr Musa Ibrahim, founder of the Abuja School of Pension and Retirement Planning, has commended the implementation of the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
Ibrahim made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
“The Pension regulator has just launched micro pension, and we think this is a very important development, in the sense that, we have estimated that (60 per cent of the workforce in Nigeria, is in the informal sector).
“So for us to an inclusive growth and opportunity for everybody, that micro pension they have launched is extremely important especially in the country where we don’t have a social security system.
“So people have to deliberately take responsibility for their retirement lives.
“So, I think it is very important, this something that is going to contribute.
“And, we have about N9 trillion (pension fund) my belief is that with concerted effort, it can easily triple these funds and assets.
“So you can imagine the gigantic contributions that we are going to have in terms of the economy, if we have long term funds that are being elongated three times of what we have.
“So, we salute the effort of the National Pension Commission in coming out with the framework for the micro pension.’’
President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 28, launched the MPP, an initiative of PenCom to bring financial inclusion to all working Nigerians.
The MPP sought to provide contributory pension services to self-employed persons in the informal sector and employees of organisations with less than three staff.
The MPP provides an opportunity for the self-employed professionals, entertainers, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, artisans, casual workers to save for pension.
The plan had been successfully implemented in countries like Kenya, India, and Ghana.
Ibrahim said the MPP would make many Nigerians to take deliberate responsibility of saving and investing for their old age.
He said for Nigeria to experience the desired infrastructure, and develop the real sector, it must find a way to put together long term funds.
“We always cry we don’t have infrastructure, we can’t have infrastructure because we can’t use short term funds for infrastructure.
“We cannot have the real economy in industries, in agriculture they cannot develop to the fullest without long term funds.
“But invariably this industry has also ushered in long term funds, for the first time we now have funds that could be invested in the real sector.
On enactment of a law for payment of life pension by some States Houses of Assemblies, Ibrahim said it was better for debates to be carried out at national level, noting that some states lacked the capacity for implementation.
“Some states are more buoyant than others, so it is going to be difficult for you to have one decision.
“But I think it is something that deserves a national debate, so that people could decide on what best works for them.
“Because, sometimes, when you are doing something, you don’t understand the implication until it is exposed to everybody and people are able to contribute.
“So, it is very important for the citizens of this country to take responsibility for many things in the country.
“We are very opinionated people in Nigeria, but sometimes only negative things get amplified, the positive things don’t get the kind of debate that it deserves.
“And, I think it is for the constituents of each state to debate and decide.’’