PENSION ASSETS RISE BY N1.58TN IN ONE YEAR
The total pension assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose by N1.58tn between 2018 and 2019. Latest figures obtained from the National Pension Commission on Wednesday revealed that the total assets put at N8.63tn at the end of 2018 rose to N10.21tn as of the end of 2019. While the amount of the funds invested in the Federal Government’s securities amounted to N6.31tn in 2018, the money rose to N7.34tn as of the end of December 2019.
Some of the funds were invested in agency bonds, supra-national bonds, commercial papers, foreign money market securities, and open/closed-end funds. Other investment portfolios where the operators invested the funds are Real Estate Investment Trusts, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets. The pioneer Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mr Muhammad Ahmad, said there was a need to encourage development of enabling framework for pension funds to facilitate national development.
In this case, he said, Public Private Partnership rules needed to be strengthened at both the national and state levels. He said that African infrastructure collaboration initiatives such as roads, rails, telecommunication and power should be promoted.Ahamd said, “There is also a need to promote credit enhancement market in the short term. Currently, infraCredit is virtually the only private institution backed by the MDFOs, providing such guarantees (incentives) in Nigeria.
“However, the enabling environment such as policies on project preparation to enable quality project issuance need to be established so as to walk ourselves out of provision of guarantees in the future.” The President, Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria, Mrs Aderonke Adedeji, said pension affected all groups of people. Those who were employed either by the private or public sector would give their best during their active years, knowing that they had a pension to fall back on in their retirement years, she noted.
For the self-employed and informal workers, she said the pension savings were probably their only savings vehicle, helping to instil the discipline of long-term savings. She said that for the retired, it provided succour and dignity in their twilight years. For the unemployed, she said the investments by the pension industry enabled the economy to grow and create jobs in the process. She said, “So, it is evident that a well-functioning, transparent and efficient pension system is critical for all groups of Nigerians and our nation at large.” Adedeji said a well-functioning pension industry would reduce the menace of corruption because individuals would be sure that they had funds they could fall back on in their retirement years.