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New Appointments at Kaduna State Pension Bureau

Professor Salamatu Idris Isah
Salamatu Isah
Esther Alibaba
Esther Alibaba

The Kaduna State Pension Bureau was birthed in 2016 by the Kaduna State Pension Law 2016 to regulate and supervise pension administration in the State.  The law brought together both the state and local government pension boards under the control of the Bureau.

Mr. Dan Ndackson was appointed as its first Executive Secretary; and by August 2018, Mrs. Esther Alibaba took over as the Acting Executive Secretary.

Dan Ndackson
Dan Ndackson

In a statement issued by the state government’s Special Adviser on Media & Communication on the 10th August 2020, new appointments at the Bureau were announced.

Mr. Dan Ndackson is now the Chairman while Professor Salamatu Idris Isah takes over as the Executive Secretary of the Bureau.

The statement said that the appointments take immediate effect.

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Kaduna Government Partners PFAs on Micro Pension

Kaduna StateThe Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 expanded coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to the self-employed and persons working in organizations with less than 3 employees. In this regard, the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) initiative has been conceived within the context of an industry wide strategy to bring this class of workers on board.

The Kaduna State Government adopted the contributory pension scheme for its workers in 2007; to ensure its success in the state, its implementation was reviewed in 2016, birthing a Bureau for more effectiveness administration.

In its proactive nature, the state government commenced joint meetings with Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) operating within the state on how best to reach out to the informal sectors and ensure that every individual in the state gets an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the pension scheme. The involvement of the state government will no doubt boost public confidence and acceptability thereby encouraging an upward surge in the number of subscribers and fund built up.

The MPP is flexible and allows a subscriber to make contributions of varying amounts and at varying periods, as best suits his or her cash flow. There is a 40% contingency provision from which the contributor can draw if the need arises; the 60% is reserved for pension at retirement.

While the collaboration continues between government and PFAs, private business individuals can walk into the offices of PFAs in the state and freely register for Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) without hassles.  The partnership from government, which is expected to be more in terms of sensitisation, will no doubt boost the confidence of the populace and the publicity will certainly encourage its teeming populace to open RSAs and fund their accounts accordingly.

How Micro Pension Works
How Micro Pension Works (courtesy PenCom)

 

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Kaduna State Government Committed to Clearing Pension Liabilities

The Kaduna State Government has said it is resolute on seeking ways to meet liabilities relating to the outstanding pension benefits of its retirees. This was made known by the Executive Governor of the State, Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai at a meeting between the government and pension fund administrators (PFAs) held at Government House Kaduna on Thursday, 5th March 2020.

Representatives of PFAs at the meeting
Representatives of PFAs at the meeting

The PFAs proferred several ideas that would assist the government in raising the much needed funds which would held resolve the issue of outstanding payments, including the possibility of a sinking fund and floating a bond. The governor however said his government would like the PFAs to consider possibilities outside the suggestions made.

For retirees whose benefits have been processed pending their conclusion of the on-going data recapture across the federation, the PFAs said compliance on the part of the retiring staff has been painstakingly slow but progressive and that in collaboration with the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, sensitization had kicked-off in February 2020 to ensure that both active and retiring employees understand the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) better. The sensitization, it is believed, will go a long way in ensuring that processes of benefit administration are comprehended and easily complied with.

It will be recalled that the state government, in order to strengthen the CPS in Kaduna State reviewed the pension law in March 2016, establishing the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, presently led by Mrs. Esther Alibaba as its Acting Executive Secretary. This brought about a new pension regime effective January 2017 and the state has since been making concerted efforts to tackle all related issues. These efforts have severally met with many teething problems that would normally surface when any meaningful employer pursues reforms with the aim of finding ways to better the lot of its workforce.

Attendees at the meeting included the governor, his deputy, the head of service, chief of staff, secretary to the state government, the commissioner of finance, the permanent secretary (finance), Special adviser to the governor on Special duties, the acting executive secretary, Kaduna State Pension Bureau, and a host of others.

A cross-section of PFAs at the meeting
A cross-section of PFAs at the meeting

The PFAs, led by the Chairman of the Kaduna State PFA Forum, Mr. Sunday Iortyange, were all represented at the meeting. Top practitioners who also attended were the MD/CEO of Premium Pensions and other Management staff from Sigma Pensions, APT Pensions and Premium Pensions.

His Excellency, the Governor, with some representatives of PFAs
His Excellency, the Governor, with some representatives of PFAs

An adhoc committee, with proposed membership from the state government, PFAs and the national regulator, PenCom, has been proposed by His Excellency, the Governor, to deliberate on the ways forward and report back within four weeks.

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ASUP, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, hosts Pension Sensitisation

Hungry for detailed and accurate knowledge about the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), the staff of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria under the auspices of its academic staff union, ASUP, beckoned on the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Kaduna State Pension Bureau from to help them understand better the rudiments of the Contributory Pension Scheme.

By way of response, a joint sensitisation event was held on Thursday, 27th February 2020 at the ICT Centre of the institution where representatives of PenCom, supported by the team from the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, did an excellent job, explaining in great detail, the CPS and the important indices relevant to the operations in Kaduna state, to the delight of all in attendance.

Pension Sensitisation at Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria
Members of ASUP, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic attending the sensitation programme

The invitation was extended to all PFAs operating in the state, through the platform of the Kaduna State PFA Forum. The role of the PFAs was to provide answers to PFA-specific questions and to provide support and after-sales services to their clients in the academic community.

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Pension Sensitisation for Kaduna State Civil Servants

When the Kaduna State Pension Reform Law was passed in March 2016, it was greeted with mixed feelings from amongst the state’s civil servants. The agitations that arose were largely due to misconceptions about the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Mrs Esther Alibaba, Acting Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Pension Bureau addressing the gathering

Unfortunately, many opted for retirement before 1st January 2017 in order to avoid the new law which made the application of the CPS effective from that date.

At the launching of the new scheme at the State House Kaduna in 2016, the governor stated that it was easier for him to pay pensions to those who were under the new scheme because it was fully-funded; and that those who retired under the the old Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) will also get their benefits paid as funds are made available.

In view of the poor knowledge of the scheme, the Kaduna State Pension Bureau in collaboration with Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) operating in the state decided to organise monthly sensitisation programmes for all MDAs.

Audience from MDAs
A cross-section of audience at the sensitisation programme

The first in the series was held on Wednesday, 26th February 2020 at the Ministry for Local Government, Yakubu Gowon Way, Kaduna and it was massively attended by both serving and retired civil servants. The event gave an insight into the perception of civil servants, particularly the retirees, who bare their minds.

The event was an eye-opener for many who knew nothing about the CPS. Both the Bureau and PFAs on the other hand proferred solutions and recommended steps to reduce delay in payment of benefits at retirement. With regular staging of the event for various MDAs, it is expected that implementation of the CPS in the state will improve tremendously.

Sensitisation
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Sensitization of Kaduna State Civil Servants on the CPS

The Kaduna State Pension Bureau has embarked on series of sensitization programmes aimed at increasing the understanding retired and serving civil servants in the state pertaining the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). The Ag. Executive Secretary of the the Bureau, Mrs. Esther Alibaba, elaborated on the planned sentisation at a meeting of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and the Bureau on Wednesday, 15th January 2020.

The sensitisation is two pronged with the Bureau running media adverts/lectures/workshops on the other hand and the PFAs carrying out customer fora for all civil servants across the 23 local government areas of the state.

On Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, the Kaduna State PFA Forum made presentations on the CPS during the induction programme organised by the staff union for newly-employed lecturers. Over 15 PFAs were in attendance for the sensitisation and to attend to various needs of the new employees.

A cross-section of union executives and resource persons at the event held at the ICT centre of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria
A cross-section of union executives and resource persons at the event held at the ICT centre of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria

The Chairman of the Kaduna State PFA Forum, Mr Sunday I. Iortyange (IEI-Anchor Pensions) and the Spokesperson, Mr. Mohammed Sadiq Kumo (APT Pensions), anchored the Pension session on behalf of all PFAs.

Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic ICT Centre
Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic ICT Centre