Mr Adamu Mele,  an Executive Director in Premium Pension Ltd. (PPL), has suggested that additional 40 to 45 million gainfully employed Nigerians should join the contributory pension scheme.

Mele made the suggestion in an interview with the Nigerian PilotPPL:  in Abuja on Friday.

According to him, the United Nations said that close to 40 to 45 million gainfully employed persons have not joined the pension scheme in Nigeria.

Mele said this development was not helping the scheme to grow.

The executive director said that the pension started in 2004, but since then the larger percentage of the population had not been captured in the scheme.

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Mele said that majority of workers in the informal sector like the trade unions, musicians, tailors, artisans and many others had not been enrolled in the pension system.

He said so far almost seven million persons had enrolled in the contributory pension scheme

Mele, however,  expressed satisfaction with the National Pension Commission (NPC) on the tremendous achievements it had recorded.
He said that the NPC would soon give opportunities to workers in the informal sector, the largest segment of workers in the country, to be in the scheme.

He said that the scheme had not recorded any single fraud, noting that many workers who retired under the system had their monies paid to them as and when due without any hitch.

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Mele lauded PPL, which he said, always paid retirees under its pension scheme on 19th of every month, stressing that many pensioners were owed before, but today this had become history.

“I think we need to give opportunity for people out there and the only way to do this is by opening the scheme to other sectors and I think it is going to happen very soon’’, Mele said.

He said that many states which had not joined the scheme were short-changing their workers and called on these state to allow their workers to join the scheme.

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He advised the federal, states and local governments as well as corporate organisations to join the scheme to take care of retirees now in view of the economic recession in Nigeria.

Mele said currently the industry had generated close to N5 trillion in pension fund and this could be deployed to many areas to fast track the development in the country.

He listed countries like Chile, Argentina and Mexico as countries which deployed money generated from their pension to develop their countries saying Nigeria could borrow a leaf from them.