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FG expands pension coverage to informal sector, launches Micro Pension Plan



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The federal government has formally launched the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) which is expected to significantly expand pension coverage to informal sector players including self-employed persons and employees of organisations with less than three staff,

The MPP, an initiative of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) geared towards achieving financial inclusion, a diversified and inclusive economy, was launched on Thursday by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa in Abuja.

Speaking during the launch, Buhari, explained that the plan is designed specifically to capture those in the informal sector.

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He said: “Today, millions of traders, farmers and other entrepreneurs in various industries are completely excluded from the different pension programmes in existence.

“If you recall, one of the three core pledge of this government is the creation of a diversified and inclusive economy. This can only be achieved by creating an enabling environment for farmers, entrepreneurs and people in other professions.

“In the past three years we provided grants, concessionary loans and technical support through the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) clinics to farmers, traders and SMEs.

“The Micro Pension Plan guarantees that when these hardworking citizens retire, they can do it in dignity and comfort.”

Buhari encouraged trade associations, unions, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in the informal sector to join hands with the government and the pension industry to enlighten their members and the general populace of the benefits of the plan.

Buhari further added that: “We are working tirelessly to sanitize some of the rot within the pension system we inherited.

“This government remains committed in resolving all pension issues and payments, despite the lean resources of the government. We will ensure that every hardworking Nigerians in the private sector, formal and informal can retire without fear.”

The Acting Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Aisha Dahir-Umar, explained that the micro pension plan targets the significant majority of Nigeria’s working population who, incidentally, operate in the informal sector.

According to her: “Participants are expected from various informal sector workers including market women, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), members of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Associations, Keke Napep and Okada Riders Associations, Butchers Associations, workers in the Movie and Performing Art industry, mechanics and other workers in the automotive industry and single professionals like lawyers, accountants and many others.

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