In an effort to deepen pension fund investment participation and to sensitize the Nigerian public on the contributory pension schemes in the country, the National Pension Commission, PenCom, has out doored yet another radio programme entitled, “PenCom on the radio”. The said programme which debuted on January 28th, 2019, is a weekly 30-minute programme that airs on Radio Nigeria Network, every Monday at 8:00pm.
The aim of the programme, among other things, is to educate, enlighten, and address many of the issues relating to the contributory pension schemes. This new program is in addition to the PenCom Retirement Mata which is a weekly 30-minute pidgin English program that airs every Friday on Naija 102.7 FM, Lagos at 5:00 pm.
The newly out doored and earlier programme is one of the strategies by PenCom to pursue and realise its “Big and Hairy Audacious Goal” of becoming a pension industry with 20 million contributors delivering measurable impact on the Economy by 2019.
I think that the goal of reaching the 20 million contributors mark is a BEE-hag (BHAG-Big Hairy, Audacious Goal) because such a goal is a powerful way to stimulate growth and progress in the Nigerian pension industry. History is replete with accounts of how visionary companies use bold missions to archive greatness and PenCom could be one of them.
Granting of License to Nigerian University Pension Management company
Currently, PenCom has about 8,381,768 registered contributors as at the end of November 2018 and the commission requires about 11 million new contributors to meet that Bee-hag. While that looks like a tall and insurmountable order, PenCom seems to be strategizing aggressively in order to achieve the said goal.
One effort in that regard is the granting of license to the Nigerian University Pension Management company (NUPEMCO). With that license, the Nigerian University Pension Management company is authorised to carry out the business of pension fund administration for Nigerian universities.
Given the number of universities in Nigeria and their staff strength, there seem to be an indication that the goal of reaching 20 million contributors by the end of 2019 is achievable.
Outstanding Regulator of the Year 2018 Award
There is no doubt that the commission is serious when it comes to the regulation of the pension industry as well as bringing innovation to the industry. In recognition of all the concerted efforts made and successes achieved by the commission, PenCom was recently awarded the Outstanding Regulator of the Year 2018 by the Independent Newspapers Ltd, publishers of the Daily Independent Newspaper.
As an analyst dedicated to following and independently measuring the performance of pension funds in Nigeria, I can boldly say that PenCom has done a lot to bring transparency into the pension industry. It is quite easy to see which companies are in compliance with their pension contributions, what asset classes the pension funds are invested in, as well as the demography of contributors.
Although there are still some work to be done in this regard, it is much easier to get pension fund prices from the fund managers’ websites as well as data on the portfolio/asset allocations.
Such cannot be said about mutual funds in Nigeria, which have remained very opaque for the most part, especially with data and information regarding daily fund NAV and fact sheets. Keep up the good work, the men and women at PenCom.