The Editor South, Blueprint newspapers, Mr. Jerry Uwah has described as criminally low the level of financial literacy in the pension scheme sector.
Mr. Uwah, in his presentation at the 2017 Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation workshop for finance correspondents and business editors in Kano, said that Nigerian consumers find it difficult to seek redress due to the cumbersome nature of the legal process in the country.
According to Mr. Uwah, the financial literacy and consumer awareness level of the Nigerian worker is so low that the he does not know that his employer has committed a criminal offence by not remitting his pension deductions monthly.
The financial illiteracy and lack of consumer awareness is so debilitating in the pension scheme that criminal employers now operate with absolute impunity.
“Financial illiteracy in the pension sector is armed by an array of docility on the part of the cheated worker. There is the innate fear that he would be sacked if he blows the whistle on his employer’s criminal act of not remitting the worker’s pension deductions,” he said.
He also pointed out that others open pension accounts for their workers, make the monthly deductions regularly but fail to remit the deductions to the appropriate pension fund administrators.
He further noted that the low level of financial literacy rate in th country has been worsened by a calamitous absence of consumer protection.
“Because of this, he said, “Nigerian consumers are unaware when their rights are abused.
He said: “The Nigerian consumer is on his own, that is why you have a situation where the banks charge high interest rates on loans and give very little on savings,” he said.
To address this infractions, he opined that regulators and operators need to partner with the media to enhnce financial literacy and consumer protection saying that there is need to capture the huge chunk of the nation’s adult population still outside the financial network.