Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has assured senior citizens that the legislature will do all within its powers to ensure that duly qualified professionals are put in charge of management of their pension.
This is just as he stressed that the welfare of retired personnel of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (N.I.A.), a highly respected security and diplomatic agency that caters for aspects of Nigeria’s security needs especially foreign intelligence, must be safeguarded through specific methods.
Represented by deputy chief whip of the House, Hon Pally Iriase, at a public hearing on a bill to establish the Nigerian Intelligence Pension Board, and for the Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners of Nigeria, at the National Assembly, the Speaker said it is one of the ways to ensure that the wellbeing of people who spent their prime serving Nigeria are well taken care of in their older years.
He said, “The legislature in Nigeria, being alive to its responsibilities, regards the pension industry as a major contributor to the economic and social wellbeing of Nigerians. The wellbeing of those who gave their best to the nation at the prime of their lives must be taken care of at the twilight of their lives. A well planned retirement with well managed pension scheme should guarantee the good life for our senior citizens. A well trained and professional pension practitioners have a huge role to play in achieving the above goals.
“The Pension industry in Nigeria today is worth over 6.2 Trillion Naira (Nov. 2016). It comprises funds belonging to workers, employers of Labour and investors. It is too important a subject, and the size of funds involved, too big not to have some form of Regulation by its practitioners. There is therefore an urgent need for a regulatory framework to guide practitioners in the industry.”
Going further, he noted that though the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (N.I.A.) is a highly respected security and diplomatic agency that caters for aspects of Nigeria’s security needs especially foreign intelligence, the appropriate method of guaranteeing their pension is yet to be determined, which is why the House has invited relevant stakeholders to assist in drawing up one.
“We invite stakeholders to assist the National Assembly to determine the appropriate method of guaranteeing the pensions of those who have served our country meritoriously in the past especially before coming into force of the Pension Reform Act of 2004. This is the usual purpose of a Public Hearing as key actors in the sectors are expected to advocate their views strongly to guide legislation in this area,” Speaker Dogara stated, adding that “the role an effective Pension Board will play in the proper management of pension funds and the general wellbeing of the pensioners in the given sector cannot be over-emphasized as it goes without saying that ‘he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches most’.” ELANZANEWS.M