Kaduna, Kebbi, Akwa Ibom to do­mes­ti­cate Pen­sion Act

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Chris Agabi

The gover­nors of Kaduna, Kebbi and Akwa Ibom states have re­vealed they have com­menced the process of do­mes­ti­cat­ing the Pen­sion Re­form Act 2014 in their re­spec­tive states.

When this oc­curs, these states will adopt the Con­trib­u­tory Pen­sion Scheme as de­fined in the PRA 2014.

The gover­nors dis­closed this in Abuja at the just con­cluded World Pen­sion Sum­mit (WPS). Speak­ing dur­ing the panel dis­cus­sion, the Gover­nor of Kaduna State, Mal­lam Nasiru El-Ru­fai said al­ready the state ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil has ap­proved the draft pen­sion leg­is­la­tion which was sent to the State Assem­bly on Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the state is un­der­go­ing crit­i­cal re­forms in the pen­sion in­dus­try that will see the scheme fully funded in about eight years from now.

“When we were sworn in by May this year, we in­her­ited a pen­sion and gra­tu­ity deficit of about N14.3 bil­lion un­funded. We are still grap­pling on how to re­solve that. But we also in­her­ited a partly funded de­fined con­trib­u­tory scheme that has some N4 bil­lion con­tri­bu­tion. What we have done is to draft a new pen­sion re­form bill in the state that has been ap­proved by the state ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil. It has been sent to the state Assem­bly for con­sid­er­a­tion to be con­sis­tent with the Pen­sion Re­form Act of 2014”, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the state is also strength­en­ing its com­mit­ment to the de­fined ben­e­fit scheme to take care of those that will con­tinue on the pay as you go sys­tem.

“On the whole, in about seven or eight years, our pen­sions will be fully funded; we would have cov­ered the en­tire deficit. We are slightly luck­ier than other states; we didn’t in­herit salary ar­rears and other is­sues that other states are fac­ing,’’ he noted

He also said the state is part­ner­ing with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to re­vive dead textile in­dus­tries in the state and also in­vest­ing heav­ily in agri­cul­ture and its val­uechains.

Sim­i­larly, the Kebbi state Gover­nor, Al­haji Atiku Bagudu, said the state is “also at the verge of pass­ing its new pen­sion law.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, his gov­ern­ment is also work­ing hard to woo in­vest­ments into the state, par­tic­u­larly in rice, su­gar­cane and cot­ton pro­duc­tion.

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