The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has disclosed that about 89 percent of the Nigerian workforce are not registered to receive pension.

According to a recent report released by the NBS, the Retirement Savings Account, RSA, membership distribution data for Q4 2016 reflected that 7,348,028 workers are registered under the contributory pension scheme out of a total working population of 69,470,091 as at Q4 2016.

This, the report said, represents 10.8 per cent of the total working population.
The NBS explained that the trend is not surprising given the largely informal structure of the Nigerian labour force.

It stated further that about 50 per cent of the current workforce are engaged in subsistence agriculture and informal trading, noting that micro businesses for example account for over 90 per cent of total small, micro, and medium scale enterprises, SMEs, in Nigeria.

An analysis of the report shows a total male working population of 36,363,042, with 14.37 per cent representing 5,226,897 registered under the scheme. Similarly, only 2,121,131 representing 6.41 per cent out of a total female working population of 33,107,859 are registered under the scheme.

Also, out of the 7,348,028 RSA members, 71.13 per cent were men and only 28.87 per cent were women. This ratio appears small when compared with the gender split of the working population which has 52.3 per cent and 47.7 per cent men and women respectively.

Meanwhile, the RSA membership is dominated by the private sector.

Analysis shows that the federal government had 1,866,850 registered RSA members under the national pension scheme as at Q4 2016 of which 1,363,266 (representing 73 per cent) were male and 503,584 (representing 27 per cent) were female.

The implication of this, the NBS says, is that there are a lot more male employees in the federal public service than female.

At the state and local government levels, 1,508,471 state public workers are registered under the national pension scheme with 849,493 males representing 56.3 per cent and 658,978 females representing 43.7 per cent. The bureau says this may indicate that the federal public service is larger than that of all 36 states combined.

Also, similar to the federal service, men dominate with respect to number of employees.

Further analysis of the report shows that private firms had 3,972,707 registered RSA members under the pension scheme as of Q4 2016 of which 3,014,138 representing 75.9 per cent were male and 958,569 representing 24.1 per cent were female.

The NBS said among the three classes of workers registered under the scheme, private firms’ working population dominated the membership distribution and closely followed by the federal and state working population.

Analysis of the age distribution of workers shows that the highest number of registered working population came from the age bracket of 30-39yrs.

It was closely followed by the working population within the age bracket of 40-49yrs and 50-59yrs.

“This is expected considering ages 25-44 account for about 55 per cent of the total working population,” the report stated.

The report also revealed that the least number of registered working population came from above 65yrs and 60-65 years age bracket.


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