Pension scheme: Only 7.5% adults registered in 2016

Pension scheme: Only 7.5% adults registered in 2016

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The National Pension Commission has disclosed that only 7.5 per cent of the nation’s adult population registered with a pension scheme in 2016.
While the trend was positive, only about one third of the defined 2016 target of penetration was
achieved.
Also, the regulatory agency revealed that the percentage of the adult population that was covered by a regulated insurance policy increased from 1.1 per cent in 2015 to 1.8 per cent in 2016. The penetration was far below the defined target of 24.8 per cent for 2016.
A former president, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Chief Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja, admitted that the sector had not penetrated the nation, as one should expect.
He said, “I am amazed when I talk about insurance to people and most of them respond that it is meant for the wealthy. Some will call us thieves, daylight robbers and ‘419’ but I patiently explain to them. To penetrate further, we all have to keep singing it as a song, till the public
accepts it.”
On the factors responsible for the setback, Olatunde-Agbeja said, “Prompt payment of claims. The greatest advertisement any insurance firm will have is prompt payment of claims. It is easy to ask for money from the public but operators find it difficult to settle claims. That alone scare people from the sector and it should not be so; but things are changing
now.”
The immediate past Managing Director, African Alliance Plc, Mr. Alphonse Okpor, blamed the low penetration on culture.
He said, “The Nigerian way of life is that you are supposed to help your brother or relations if there is anything happening, but the society is changing to nuclear family settings. For instance, where I come from in Delta State, when a man dies, his widow and children are distributed among the family members for assistance; but nowadays,
things are hard.
“If you can’t take care of your own child, how do you take care of other children? That’s why it is necessary for people to use insurance to guarantee the continuity of the family when you are not there.
The acceptance of insurance in Nigeria is still low. But the perception is gradually changing and that is because insurance firms are investing greatly on educating the public on the importance of insurance. I think things are changing but it’s not as fast as
expected.”

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