As evidence towards its commitment to promoting national development and driving financial inclusion, the domestic arm of the pan-African, Ecobank, has formally joined hands with leading pensions provider, People’s Pension Trust (PPT) to reach the nation’s largely untapped informal sector.
According to the pensions industry watchdog, the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), the informal sector currently has a penetration of three percent, a situation which leaves the vast number of persons in the sector exposed to old-age poverty, amongst other undesirable conditions.
This, the Authority seeks to address with the roll-out of its five-year strategic plan, which has amongst other things, the goal of raising this rate to 40% by 2026 and has urged relevant stakeholders to promote measures to ensure this goal.
In response to this, Ecobank will leverage its vast platforms – its digital application and agency banking – to bring pension products and provided by PPT, as well as collect contributions.
Speaking at a signing ceremony to formalise the partnership, Managing Director of Ecobank, Dan Sackey said the move highlights Ecobank’s dedication to growth, particularly through strategic partnerships.
He mentioned to the B&FT on the sidelines that the product would especially target dense, commercial areas, arguing that such a strategy would bring about the highest good to the greatest number of people. “We want to ensure that irrespective of your area of employment, you are able to put something aside periodically – daily, weekly, or monthly – so as to retire with dignity,” he added.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer at PPT, Saqib Nazir, economic prosperity must be collective, as such, the informal sector, which employs some 70% of the workforce must be catered to.
“The segment in Ghana here is part of the 400 to 500 million people in West Africa and the 2 billion people globally that financial services must be extended to… this will undoubtedly have a ripple effect that will drive improvements across industries and the country’s economy.”
On his part, The Director of Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Ernest Amartey- Vondee, expressed delight at the partnership and was optimistic that it would set the standard for the industry.
He entreated the partners, and by extension, other players to place a premium on the proper education of their salespersons, as well as prospective clients on the workings of pension schemes, as well as the unique features of their respective products.