News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

PenCom plans to assist workers own houses

PENCOM plans to bridge the gap in housing in Nigeria

By Kingsley Okoye

As Nigerian workers seek ways of owning their individual houses, the National Pension Commission (PenCom), says it is in the process of developing a workable guideline to allow Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders access part of their pension contribution for mortgage financing.

Mr Peter Aghahowa, the Head, Corporate Communications of PenCom said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Friday.

Aghahowa said the commission was already making contacts with relevant stakeholders with a view to getting inputs before rolling out the guideline for the initiative.

“Talking about the first one which is using pensions for mortgage, a guideline has been developed and in implementing the initiative, there are stakeholders that will be involved in the process.

“A draft guideline has been developed and we have also engaged stakeholders that will be involved in the process.

“Now, we are taking our time because we want to get it right, the process is ongoing, we intend to expose the guideline once the draft is ready, so that all stakeholders can have a look at it again and give us their feedback.

“So that we can go back, fine-tune it and come up with a final guideline that will be implemented,’’ he said.

Aghahowa said the commission had also produced guidelines for the take-off of micro pension scheme aimed at integrating informal sector operators into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

“For the micro pension, it is also the same process, the guideline has been in the works and I am also happy to say that just last week, we released the draft guideline, which is on our website.

“Now that it is out, it has been exposed and we are engaging stakeholders, we expect feedback from relevant stakeholders including the press so that we can come back to fine-tune it and have it ready for implementation,” he said.

Aghahowa said that planned integration of informal sector operators into the CPS remained an initiative the commission holds so passionately, saying its successful implementation would result in further expansion of the nation’s pension system.

“You are aware that this is what the commission has been very passionate about because it is going to expand our coverage because most members of the society, especially those in informal sector who are engaged in business activities will be captured,’’ he said.

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