The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says its pilot Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) for Retried Savings Account (RSA) would help to tackle irregularities in the scheme across the country.
Mr Anyim Nyerere, Commissioner of Technical in PenCom, said this while briefing Journalists on Saturday in Abuja against the backdrop of the Spot Check visit carried out by the Commissioner Inspectorate of the commission.
He said although DRE would be fully implemented in January 2022, the Commission through collaboration with Pension Operators employed Pay-one and Afritech as authorised agents, to fast track conduct of the exercise.
According to him, the essence of the exercise is to ensure that all contributions under the contributory pension scheme have updated information with the Commission and with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
Nyerere said: “Why this exercise is quite important and then, interesting is the fact that it affords us the opportunity to enable all contributors without National Identity Number (NIN) to provide their details.
“The opportunity provided by DRE is to obtain their NIN, because there is a symbiotic relationship between the agents operating this with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
“So, they are authorised to register people to obtain their NIN, which means that the NIN registration is a prerequisite to this data recapture, which is the essence of this exercise.
“This is in order to really speed up this exercise, because we have about 9000 contributors in this scheme and we need to update their records.
“Then, the pension fund operators decided to appoint two agents approved by the Commission; today we are privileged to have the agents authorised from PenCom and commissioned, on behalf of the PFAs.”
He further noted that the two agents were equally authorised by NIMC to carry out the NIN registration.
In a separate interview at the event, Mrs Grace Usoro, Head of the National Data Bank Management Department of the Commission, said that the exercise was apt to enable people to be duly captured.
According to her, the exercise would enable the agents to capture the contributors, who registered contributory pension schemes before July 2019.
“At that date, we were able to deploy inbuilt controls and also, had requirements that meant the minimum thresholds set by NIMC for registration of individuals under the scheme.
“So, it meant that contributors that registered before July 2019 did not meet this minimum threshold, therefore the DRE has been restricted to offer those contributors the opportunity.
“To bring their records up to date and for the pension industry that is germane, because we want to be able to know who the contributors really are.
“Identify them uniquely, in order to ensure it is only the bonafide owners of the contribution areas that can have access to the contribution.
“It is a key exercise and something that will go on, till we ensure that the last contributor who registered before the last cut-off date of July, 2019 is fully recaptured,” Usoro said.
She assured of the commission’s resolve to be conscious, in order to ensure a hitch free process, saying contributors are mandated to update their records on the platform provided to avoid irregularities.
Besides, she reiterated that apart from providing relevant information, contributors need to avail themselves physically to the agents at the centre for verification of their fingerprint from the NIMC database.