Abuja School of Pension and Retirement Planning was commissioned yesterday in Abuja.
Approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the school is the first of its kind in West Africa.
At the commissioning ceremony, the Founder of the School, Dr. Musa Ibrahim, said despite the importance of the pension industry and the large pool of pension funds accumulated under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), Nigeria had no curricular specifically designed for pension studies.
Dr. Ibrahim said the school is a result of a partnership of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), NBTE and other stakeholders in the development of a nationally approved curriculum for the study of pensions and retirement benefits matters in Nigeria.
“Until now, this important discipline did not have a National Curricular. It is to the credit of the Abuja School of Pension and Retirement Planning and that of other major stakeholders that this vacuum was filled at a very crucial point in the development of this country,” Dr. Ibrahim said.
The Founder, who also represented the School’s Council Chairman, Muhammed Nasirudeen Maiturare, said the formal commissioning of the school marked a milestone in the educational development of the country, especially in acquisition of vital skills, capability and capacity in pension administration.
The FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, who commissioned the school, proper management of pension is crucial considering that retirement is a reality and in civil service, workers retire after 35 years in service or upon attaining 60 years, each ever one comes first.
Represented by Senator Isa Maina, the Minister said training in both pension management and retirement planning is important so that workers will not suffer in retirement or make investment miscalculations that will leave then in old-age poverty.
He said retirement is inevitable and people must face the challenges of life after exiting regular pay jobs.
The Executive Secretary of NBTE, Dr. Masoud Kazaure, said the school has been accredited to award National Diploma and Higher National Diploma in Pensions Administration and Management.
“Given the far-reaching implications of pension and retirement planning in people’s lives and the economy, it is time that formal training, based on a national curriculum and conducted in accredited institutions be undertaken,” he said.