The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is targeting to register no fewer than 30 million Nigerians in its Micro Pension Plan (MPP) within the next five years.
The Head of Corporate Communications Department of the commission, Peter Aghahowa, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair.
Aghahowa, represented by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Carol Alex-Uzomah, said that those eligible for the registration of the micro pension must be from 18 years and above.
He therefore called on eligible Nigerians to approach any pension Fund Administration (MPP) of their choice for Registrations pointing out that contributors have the right to determine how they would be contributing to MPP.
The head of cooperate communication, however noted that contributors to MPP would not be allowed to withdraw until after three months and also that such persons would only be allowed to access 40 percent of the contributions while the remaining 60 percent will be kept for pension.
According to him contributors must be up to 50 years before he or she would access the 60 percent pension pointing out that among other numerous benefits the scheme was designed to take care of old age poverty and the yearnings of the categories of workers by ensuring financial inclusion in their sector.
He further noted that the scheme would cover all manner of self-employed people including artisans, petty traders, water sellers and many more.
“The plan which is an initiative of the PenCom is aimed at the provision of pension services to self-employed persons in the informal sector and employees of organisations with less than 3 staff.
“The informal sector constitutes an estimated 69 million work force in the country and represents an estimated 88 per cent of Nigerian workers that lack pensions and safety nets for their old age.
“The goal of the commission is to achieve coverage of 30 million people in the informal sector by 2024,” he said.
Aghahowa said that they were at the trade fair to sensitise members of the informal sector including artisans on the new initiative.
He appealed to prospective beneficiaries to take advantage of the MPP to safeguard their future, adding that there would always be life after active service years.
He said that they were rolling out the necessary information across all platforms to ensure that the message of financial inclusion in the informal sector got to the intended audience.
“Our plan is to take the message to all the remote areas in the next couple of months.
“Those working in the informal sector need to enroll in order to enjoy the benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme,” he said.
“Part of the documentation would require enrollees to provide information on their next-of-kin in case of any eventuality,” he said.
He assured that there would be no form of scandal in the scheme as adequate safeguard had been put in place to protect contributions made by enrollees.
“There are adequate safeguards in the scheme starting from the regulators, custodians and pension funds administrators and we all have our different roles to play.