President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will ensure that all hard-working Nigerians "retire without fear".

He stated this in his address at the formal launching of the micro pension plan on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the President, the initiative is designed to capture those not fully captured in the formal corporate sector. 

As such, the scheme targets traders, farmers and other levels of entrepreneurs, as well as workers in the informal sector.

Delivering his address at the event, he said: "This initiative was designed specifically to capture those citizens that are not fully captured in the formal corporate sector. Today, millions of traders, farmers and other entrepreneurs in various cottage industries are completely excluded from the different pension programmes in existence.

"If you recall, one of the three core pillars of this Government is the creation of a diversified and inclusive economy. This can only be achieved by creating an enabling environment for farmers, entrepreneurs and SMEs.

"In the past three years, we provided grants, concessionary loans and technical support through our SME clinics to farmers, traders and SMEs. We have seen lives positively change because of these initiatives.

"The Micro Pension Plan is the natural next step. The programme guarantees that when these hard working citizens retire, they can still live in dignity and comfort.

"At this juncture, I would like to encourage Trade Associations, Unions, Non-Governmental Organizations and other stakeholders in the informal sector of our economy to join hand with the Government and the Pension Industry to enlighten their members and the general public on the benefits of the Micro Pension Plan.

"The Federal Government will continue to support the National Pension Commission to ensure a successful roll-out of the product by the pension operators for the benefit of the target participants. The Financial System Strategy 2020 is also hereby directed to support this initiative within the framework of its activities especially as it relates to financial inclusion.

"In addition to this programme, we are also working tirelessly to sanitize some of the rot within the pension system we inherited. I want to assure all Nigerians that this Government remains committed to resolving all pending issues on pension payment in the federal public sector despite the lean resources of Government."

On retirement plans for Nigerians, he added: "The dignity of retired public servants who sacrificed their lives for this country will be restored. We will ensure all hard working Nigerians in the private sector, both formal and informal, can retire without fear.

"We have already started on this journey. We must all come together to ensure these reforms are fully implemented and their positive impact is felt by the rightful beneficiaries."
 

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