Okezie Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia State has said his administration will take every necessary step to key the state Workforce into the Contributory Pension Scheme of the Federal Government.
The Governor directed the State Head of Service and the Commissioner for Finance to come up with the technical advice on the framework with which the initiative would commence as soon as possible.
Ikpeazu stated this when he received in audience a delegation of the National Commissioner (Technical), representing Southeast and directors of the National Pension Commission at Government house in Umuahia.
It was contained in a release issued to journalists in Umuahia, the state capital by Governor Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary Onyebuchi Ememanka.
According to the Abia Chief Executive, the full implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme was delayed owing to some challenges but assured that his administration was determined to implement the scheme in the State.
He stated that one of the greatest problems of the State had been wage bill management and expressed the hope that the Contributory Pension Scheme would solve the pension problems as it would provide reliable data.
Governor Ikpeazu appreciated the proposal of the Pension Commission (PENCOM) to establish a micro pension scheme for small & medium scale enterprise, saying that it would stabilize the economy and give hope to the Abia artisans.
He promised to lead serious advocacy about the micro pension scheme, commending the National Commissioner representing Southeast in the Pension Commission Dr. Nyerere Anyim for the good work done in the scheme and said that Abia is proud of him.
Earlier in his speech, the National Commissioner (Technical), representing South East at the Pension Commission Dr. Nyerere Anyim said his team was in the State as part of their tour of the South East States aimed at creating awareness on the need to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme.
He commended the Governor’s efforts towards implementation of the contributory pension scheme, saying that having achieved the milestone of enacting the Pension Reforms Law in 2017, it was needful for Abia to commence the full implementation of the scheme.
Anyim assured that he was willing to deploy the staff of the PENCOM to work with Abia State to begin its implementation, saying that if Abia starts the implementation, it will be the first in the South East to do so.
He enumerated the benefits of keying into the scheme to include reducing the pension burden on government as there will be shared responsibility among the government, civil servants and pension managers.
He also said that the scheme will eliminate the ghost worker syndrome, adding that government can assess funds from the pension fund for strategic investment.
According to him, the micro pension plan will give access to the informal sector to assess income adding that Aba was chosen as the hub of SME in the South East for the plan.
Also speaking, a member of the delegation and a Director at PENCOM, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Stock Exchange told Governor Ikpeazu that the scheme can give the state the platform to use the instrumentality of the issuance of bonds to raise funds for development from the capital market.
According to the release, the Honorable Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Ukoh, his counterpart in the Ministry of Health, Dr Joe Osuji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Professor ACB Agbazuere, State Head of Service, Sir Onyi Wamah and thr Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Establishment and Pensions, Mrs Chioma Onyegbu witnessed the event.