The retirement savings account (RSA) membership distribution data for Q2 2017 as released by the Nigerian statistical agency, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that only 7.6 million workers are registered under the contributory pension scheme out of a total working population of 69.5 million, representing just 10.93 percent. This compares with 7.5 million registered in Q1 2017.
The data is not surprising given the largely informal structure of the Nigerian labour force with about 50 percent of the current workforce engaged in subsistence agriculture and informal trading. Micro businesses, for example, account for over 90% of total Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.
Further disaggregation of RSA membership reveals that of a total male working population of 36.4 million only 5.4 million or 14.83 percent male workers are registered under the pension scheme in the review period as against 5.3 million or 14.65 percent registered male workers in the first quarter.
Similarly, only 2.2 million or 6.64 percent out of a total female working population of 33.1 million are registered under the scheme as at Q2 2017, compared to 2.16 million or 6.54 percent registered female workers in Q1 2017.
Accordingly, out of the 7.6 million RSA members, 71.04 percent were men and 28.96 percent were women compared to 71.10 percent men and 28.90 percent women in Q1 2017. This compares with the gender split of the working population, which has 52.3 percent men and 47.7 percent women.
RSA membership is dominated by the Private sector. The Federal level had 1.9 million registered RSA members under the national pension scheme as at Q2 2017 of which 1.3 million or 72.94 percent were male and 513,620 or 27.06 percent were female.
Private firms had 4,154,599 registered RSA members under the pension scheme as at Q1 2017 of which 3,143,703 or 75.67 percent were male and 1,010,896 or 24.33% were female compared to 4,078,699 registered RSA members of which 3,091,288 or 75.79 percent were male and 987,411 or 24.21 percent were female in Q1 2017.
The highest number of registered working population came from the age bracket of 30-39yrs and 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 percent of the total working population.
However, the least number of registered working population came from above 65yrs and 60-65yrs age bracket.