The National Pension Commission (PenCom) and Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have engaged Afritech Multi Concepts Limited for the pilot phase of Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) for employees’ Retried Savings Account (RSA) in a bid to address irregularities in pension schemes across the country.

The Commissioner, Technical in PenCom, Anyim Nyerere, at an on-the-spot check visit to Afritech’s centre in Lagos, said the aim of the exercise is to update the existing data of contributors, while also addressing a situation whereby a pension contributor has multiple Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).

Nyerere, said the exercise will allow PFAs to reconcile the new information collected with the previous ones to enhance the credibility of the new pension scheme.

He noted that the exercise will also protect pension clients against cybercrime as well as other fraudulent intents and activities.

He said although DRE would be fully implemented in January 2022, the Commission, through collaboration with Pension Operators, engaged Afritech as authorised agents, to fast track the conduct of the exercise.

According to him, the essence of the exercise is also to ensure that contributions under the contributory pension scheme have updated information with the commission and with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

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The commissioner said: “Why this exercise is quite important and then, interesting is the fact that it affords Nigerians 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 noted that the two agents were equally authorised by NIMC to carry out the NIN registration.

Speaking also at the centre, the Head of the National Databank Management Department of the Commission, Mrs Grace Usoro, said that the exercise was apt to enable people to be duly captured.

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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.