‘Adoption of micro pension’s scheme key to financial inclusion’
Micro pension has been identified as one of the channels that can be applied to drive financial inclusion in the nation’s economy, the Managing Director of IEI Anchor Pension, Glory Etaduovie, has said.
According to him, the micro pension involves helping the low income, the unstructured businesses, individual professionals, retail outlets, the unexposed and the artisans, develop a virile savings culture, getting benefits of financial advice, affordable credits and enhancing minimum capacity to access same, payment and remittances platform and benefits of insurance and banking services.He said IEI Anchor Pension, was working in this regard to avoid being left out, noting that most, if not all of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), have internal structures largely in place already.
“These include closely monitoring the Regulator’s ‘dance’ steps and domiciling same in our company. Staffing and a robust ICT network is being enhanced. Remember that, those in the micro pension sector constitute no less than 60 % of the population. There is also a growing tilt towards increasing entrepreneurial drive, as the direct jobs are decreasing. It is thus a larger untapped market,” he said. Etaduovie frowned at the larger number of unstructured Nigerian population, saying: “They are left to chance and limits of their knowledge and capacity to deal with the challenges and vagaries of getting old.
“Ironically, we are all affected, because they are our uncles and aunties; brothers and sisters; fathers and mothers who now lean on us for family pension plans (if any), or handouts of stipends that caters for only a few days, and back to square one.
“Aging becomes undignified. Health and maintenance remain a critical issue of aging. The current working population is thus under siege. There are endless requests for support here and there.”He however, assured that Micro pension has become an invaluable tool to bridge this terrible deficit in financial inclusion and its ripple effects for no plans for aging and retirement in the unstructured business circles – whether with official retirement age or not.
“Financial Inclusion is total. Total in the sense that this philosophy drags in the so-called underprivileged or low income segment into the opportunities and exposures that financial world offers. A lot of people are shut of a world of opportunities of the financial sector offers to enhance their present and future lives. “Though beyond pension only, this platform now sucks them in through their cluster bodies to expose them to the knowledge and benefits of not only pension plans, but puts them into a community of people who can tap into other benefits accrue-able to cluster bodies. This thus makes up for short falls of individual small businesses access to comprehensive financial services available to all.
“This, of course, leads to empowerment and economic growth and development. Etaduovie, said that PenCom has done well so far. It is a new learning needing to be domiciled. They have had to wade through un-structured parts to create in-routes for Industry path and public assimilation and integration. Change pioneering and buy-ins are amongst most difficult things to achieve,” he added.
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