The National Pension Commission (PenCom) recently ordered the continuation of Data Recapture exercise and called on all Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders to visit any branch of their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to participate in the ongoing Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) or have it done at the newly appointed agents data recapture centres.
PenCom reiterated that the exercise is for both active contributors and retirees whose data have not been recaptured. The DRE is in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government that all data generating organisations should harmonise their databases with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). It is also consistent with the need to have a credible database of all RSA holders in Nigeria. The most important thing to note is that DRE is mandatory for you to withdraw from your RSA or transfer your RSA from one PFA to another.
The two agents recently appointed by PenCom for DRE are Payone Solution Systems Limited and Afritech Multi Concept Limited. PenCom also disclosed that they were engaged by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to carry out the DRE consistent with PenCom’s approval and the agents are authorised to establish data recapture centres. RSA holders are therefore allowed to have their data recaptured at such centres by the agents (if they are unable to visit the offices of their PFAs).
To see how easy it will be for an RSA holder to get DRE done with any of the two agents, a staff of PensionNigeria attempted to get DRE done through them. The first challenge we encounter was that there is no link on PenCom, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) or Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) website which can take you to the website of the agents or provide the addresses of the agents DRE centres.
Thankfully, the names of the two agents were stated on the publication released by PenCom, Payone Solution Systems Limited and Afritech Multi Concept Limited, so we resulted to the standard online search, and thanks to Google, we found their websites https://payoneng.com/ and https://www.afritech.com.ng/. We perused the two websites to see if there is anything related to Data recapture or information on where RSA holders can do their DRE with the agents.
Payone Solution Systems Limited https://payoneng.com/
The only thing a bit related to DRE that we found on the website is Payone Identity Management Solutions, which was described as full scale KYC systems. Payone also stated on its website that its an identity-based fintech solution provider.
Afritech Multi Concept Limited https://www.afritech.com.ng/
Afritech on its website prides itself as Nigeria’s leading verification platform with 24 hours self service and a decade of experience. It says it has an Identity Management system designed in-line with the specifications of National Biometric Standards equipment, Standardization of data collection, transmission and storage processes to cover the basic functions of enrolment, verification and identification.
On Afritech website, there is a dedicated page for “DRE” under “Projects”, the page specifically made reference to DRE and said the PenOp project scope is defined for data cleanup and transmission from an existing database to a new projected and developed data storage bank. The page also disclosed that the Project milestone has been planned for commencement with strategies mapped out for the 36 state of Nigeria which PenOp covers including the federal capital (Abuja). Saying that the project publication is currently ongoing across the nation through different platforms to sensitize and create awareness and Afritech has deployed its mechanism and technology to the location as may demand for a smooth data recapture exercise -DRE.
We believe it’s not too optimistic to say that the above could mean that Afritech will in the future have centres for DRE in the 36 states of the Federation, but we keep our fingers crossed because there was still no information on how or when an RSA holder can actually do DRE on their website. In fairness to Afritech, we saw something interesting on their website, a snapshot of something that looks like a mobile application or a web module for DRE (see picture below).
The snapshot really got us excited because it’s the minimum we expect in this day an age for a DRE that is expected to cover millions of RSA holders but it’s quite unfortunate that there was no further information on what looks like a mobile application for DRE.
Since our ultimate question (How can a RSA holder do DRE with the agents) was not answered by the websites of Payone and Afritech, we decided to contact the agents directly, after series of calls to the numbers on their websites, we were still unable to speak to the agents. We then resulted to some personal connections through which we were able to get the contact of a staff of one of the agents.
Our question to the staff of the agent remains the same, “How can a RSA holder do DRE with the agents” and the response was “Are you a PFA?” our answer “No”, “Are you doing this because you have RSA holders that want to change PFAs?” our answer “No, we are doing this just to educate RSA holders”. He then went further to say that PenCom had already selected the employers which they can do DRE for their employees and they have also sent their introduction letters to such employers. He also mentioned that they will visit the selected employers to do the DRE for their employees.
If you had planned to do DRE with the agents, we are sorry to disappoint you because we don’t think that will be possible unless your employer is part of the ones selected by PenCom and assigned to the agents for DRE, if your employer has the numbers, it could also be possible to get PenCom to assign your company to an agent for DRE, though there is No Guaranty for this.
In conclusion, we buy no reason why the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) worth N14.19 trillion (as at 31 May 2022) with steady operating income, should be unable to carry out “Online Data Recapture” for RSA holders, even Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) is already testing an online verification system for Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) retirees. RSA holders should be able to do DRE from the comfort of their homes, no RSA holder should be queuing at PFAs’ offices just to do DRE.
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