The call for informal sector workers to adopt the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) has been reiterated by Aisha Dahir-Umar, the Director-General of the National Pension Commission. Speaking at the Lagos International Trade Fair organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dahir-Umar, represented by Sola Adeseun, the Head of the South West Zonal Office, emphasized the commission’s commitment to raising awareness about the MPP.
Dahir-Umar stated, “Participating at the trade fair is just one of our strategies in creating awareness on the MPP. Aside from this, PenCom also reaches out to market women across the country, to have sessions with them, so that they can also contribute to the micro pension plan to have something to fall back to in their retirement age.”
Highlighting the growing acceptance of the MPP in Lagos, she noted that the zonal office was intensifying efforts to enhance awareness within the South West geo-political zone.
Dauda Ahmed, the Head of the Micro Pensions Department at PenCom, explained that the MPP, introduced by the Pension Reform Act 2014, enables individuals in organizations with fewer than three employees and self-employed individuals to voluntarily participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme and save for retirement. Ahmed emphasized the significant opportunity the MPP presents for workers in the informal sector to secure their future through retirement savings, noting that over 97,000 contributors had enrolled in the MPP in recent months.
Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, the President of LCCI, commended the pension industry’s success, citing total pension assets of N17.35tn as of September 2023 and a contributors’ base of about 10.1 million people. Despite these achievements, he acknowledged challenges such as inconsistent policies, delays in pension and gratuity payments, a high number of defaulting employers, and weak enforcement of non-compliance with the pension Act that still need to be addressed in the sector.