Nigeria pension funds look to small businesses for growth

Pension Commission of Nigeria (Pencom), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Capital Markets

Nigeria‘s pension regulator hopes to launch a savings scheme for the country’s widespread small business sector as it seeks ways of persuading a majority of the country’s workforce to put aside funds for their retirement.

Traditionally driven by oil money and with large segments of the workforce unregistered for tax purposes, Nigeria’s economy has gone into reverse during a slump in crude prices that began in 2014, forcing the government to seek new ways of raising revenue.

The National Pension Commission had three years ago expected assets in the pension industry to triple by 2016 to $70 billion, as more people in the small business sector signed up to schemes. But that prediction has failed to materialize.

The commission has said it wants to launch the savings scheme next year, targeting the about 50 million Nigerians employed in small businesses of at least four employees, covering everything from barbers’ shops to accountancy firms.

Read more: Nigeria pension funds look to small businesses for growth| News by Country| Reuters