Nigeria is set to host the World Pension Summit, Africa Special as part of strategies to boost innovation, excellence, and commitment to the development of the African pension industry and institute the “Africa Pensions Award” from October 5 and 6, 2015 in Abuja.
This year’s summit, which has its theme as “Building Sustainable Pension Systems in Africa”, the Commission said, would create a platform for pension regulators and operators in Africa to brace up to the challenges of positively contributing to the socio-economic growth of the continent, while ensuring that retirement benefits of the citizens are paid as and when due.
The awards event which would be one of the major highlights at the summit, aims to create an opportunity for African countries to benchmark their progress in pension industry development while fostering positive local and global perceptions of the African pension market.
Director General of the National Pension Commission (Pencom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who spoke at a World Press Conference in Lagos ahead of the 2nd edition of the WorldPensionSummit, said the idea was to create a healthy atmosphere for the development of the industry across the continent.
She regretted however that despite the enormous resources available to the African pension market, not much has been achieved in the area of infrastructure financing where huge resources are required.
“You will agree with me that Africa today faces huge infrastructure challenges and pension funds as long term capital are ideally suited for investment in infrastructure. However, infrastructure financing is still a major challenge for most Africa countries despite the availability of huge aggregate of pension funds,” she said.
The Pencom boss also lamented the slim trace of African countries in the critical area of micro-pension plan, stressing that measures would be taken to ensure that appropriate attention was paid to opportunities that exist in the sub-sector, by taking bold steps towards the implementation of suitable and innovative measures to adequately cater for the needs of the informally employed.
Speaking on the benefits of Nigeria’s 2004 pension reforms, Anohu-Amazu said the country’s contributory pension experiment has redefined Africa’s pension narratives in the sense that several countries on the continent now look up to Nigeria for direction, being able to also address the issues of mismanagement of pension assets that characterised previous dispensations.