PenCom certifies 83 firms for FG deals
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has cleared 83 firms to bid for contracts with Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for 2018.
PenCom has already issued certificates of compliance to the affected companies after having provided evidence of complying with provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004.
Issuance of compliance certificate by PenCom was in line with the provision of Section 16 (6) (d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, which states that any supplier, contractor or consultant bidding or soliciting contract or business from any Federal Government MDAs must fulfil all its obligations with respect to pensions.
Compliance with the Pension Act, at minimum, include ensuring that all employees open Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) with Pension Fund Administrator of their choice; remitting both employer and employee pension contributions to the appropriate Pension Fund Custodian not later than seven days from the date of payment of salaries; and transferring all pension funds and assets prior to the commencement of the Pension Act to licensed pension operators.
Meanwhile, the number of certified companies for this year was low compared to 13,592 issued in 2017, which PenCom noted was as a result of reluctance of federal government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, to cooperate with it. “The main reason for the low number of requests being the reluctance of MDAs to ensure that companies bidding for works have fulfilled their obligations relating to pensions as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
According to PenCom, methods deployed by MDAs to avoid complying include: exclusion of the pension requirement in the advertisement for contractors and/or acceptance of spurious evidence of compliance from the contractors.
Consequently, PenCom resolved to address the lapses by agreeing with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) that only certificates it issued would be the valid evidence of compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Review of companies involved in terms of level of contribution showed that Setraco (Nigeria) Limited with 2,839 employees topped the list in 2017 with N455 million equally Aiico Insurance Plc with 264 employees contributed N135.1 million.
Others are North South Power Company Limited with 339 employees contributed N114.7 million, Oriental Energy Resources Limited with 43 employees contributed N41.6 mllion while Rockbridge Construction Limited with 107 employees contributed N10.2 million.
PenCom noted that with effect from January 2012, private sector employers that complied with the provisions of the PRA 2014 were issued annual Certificates of Compliance, and that to be issued with the certificate, employers are required to submit evidence of remitting contributions to the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) of their employees as well as show evidence of valid group life insurance policy.