The Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria has disclosed that Nigeria’s micro pension plan has attracted about 97,000 contributors who have contributed a total of N435m.

This was disclosed at a stakeholders’ conference on the micro pension scheme organised by the Pension Correspondents Association of Nigeria in Abuja.

In her presentation, the Project Management Lead at PenOp, Mayomikun Obadofin, who represented the Chief Executive Officer, PenOp, Oguche Agudah, said the Micro Pension Plan was introduced in accordance with the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which allows individuals working in organisations with fewer than three employees and self-employed individuals to voluntarily participate in the contributory pension scheme and save for their retirement.

She added, “The MPP presents a significant opportunity for workers in the informal sector to secure their future through retirement savings.

“It offers flexibility in contribution amounts and frequencies, provisions for withdrawing a portion of the savings for unforeseen emergencies, and the option to convert from an informal to a mandatory plan when securing formal employment.”

She also disclosed that the plan would expand pension coverage to more than 40 million informal sector workers by 2024.

According to Obadofin, there are four approved service providers and a plan to introduce health insurance for those under the scheme.

The Assistant General Manager of the National Pension Commission, Ibrahim Buwai, who represented the commission’s Director-General, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, described the scheme as successful, stressing its importance to those in the informal sector.

He said, “The micro pension simply seeks to provide a platform whereby someone is able to save while in active working life for the day when someone is no longer active.”

According to him, although progress is being made, a lot still needs to be done.

Also, a Principal Officer at the National Union of Pensioners, Ehada Mohammed, stressed the need for a smooth pension scheme that would benefit pensioners.

The legal adviser of Contributory Pension and Happy Retirement Advocacy, Oyiminu Audu, said sensitisation was key to fast-tracking the implementation of the contributory pension scheme.

She further stressed the need to improve the number of contributors to the scheme.

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