The National Pension Commission of (PENCOM) has advised pension operators to embrace ethical and professional practises in their activities, stressing that a strong corporate governance culture is an essential ingredient for the survival of any industry.
The Director General of PenCom, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad who gave the advice at an investiture ceremony for the Governing Council of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PENOP) in Lagos said the commission has adopted zero tolerance for any infraction on Corporate Governance principles among operators in the industry.
Ahmad said: “As a young industry, we cannot rule out the existence of external threats and to contain this, we need to liaise with and involve stakeholders in all our activities.
The Commission has been having series of stakeholder engagements with, amongst others, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) on issues of common concern in the industry and how to surmount it.
“Six years of existence of the new pension industry, there are still general misconceptions on the workings of the Contributory Pension Scheme which PENOP should assist in enlightening the public and in particular stakeholders on the scheme and industry.
The Commission has been doing a lot in terms of public education and would appreciate the contribution of PENOP in this direction.”
The regulator further urged PENOP as a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) in the industry, to complement the regulatory objectives of the Commission.
Ahmad identified the ever rising demand for service by customers as one of the critical challenges facing the pension industry. In that regard, he advised operators to refocus their operations so as to cultivate and sustain confidence of their customers through enhanced service delivery.
“PENOP needs to also take a cue by engaging all stakeholders in the industry on a regular basis. I believe that this industry belongs to all of us as regulators and operators and we must collectively join hands to carry it forward and this is a collective responsibility of all us.
“The Commission would always continue to maintain an open door policy to PENOP and welcomes any constructive idea on how to move the industry to greater heights and in this regards, we would continue to consult and carry PENOP along in all our activities and decisions,” Ahmad assured the operators.
Tomi Someifu, managing director, UBA Pensions, joining Funsho Doherty, outgoing chairman PENOP said the Association would continue to enhance its relevance in deepening the market through regular consultation with consumer groups and key stakeholders.
The new PENOP executive committee would be led by Emenike Davies Uduanu, managing director, Pension Alliance Limited.
Uduanu is 1989 graduate of Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsuka. In the past five years, he has held board positions in African Alliance Insurance Company Limited, Pension Alliance Limited, Hygeia Nigeria Limited, PathCare Nigeria and IBFCAgusto Limited.