Pension funds investment in infrastructure has been increased to N47.32bn by the Pension Funds Administrators according to the latest statistics from Nigeria’s pension commission.
The latest figure was recorded at the end of February 2020. The total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme, which had continued to record steady growth, stood at N10.5tn, amount already put into different investment portfolios.
The Director, Centre For Pension Right Advocacy, Ivor Takor, said, “The Contributory Pension Scheme has created a huge pool of long-term investable fund, which should be utilised for infrastructure development.
“This should be done within an agreed framework put in place by all critical stakeholders.”
He explained that pension fund was about investment and not borrowing.
According to him, Pension Fund Administrators were investing organisations and not borrowing organisations.
Takor said, “The spirit and letters of the Pension Reform Act 2014 envisage investment not borrowing. The government, PenCom and pension operators know this very well.
“The law and guidelines for investment of pension fund made provisions for investment in infrastructure. We want to point out that Retirement Savings Accounts of workers are neither guaranteed by the federal and state governments nor any other organisation for that matter.
“The accounts and the funds in them are open to operation and investment risk, which is borne by the owners of the accounts. Therefore, their representatives must have a say on any critical decision on the contents of the accounts.”
He mentioned that the law did not confer on the federal or state government the power to decree or order how the funds in private individuals’ RSAs should be invested.
“They can negotiate the terms and conditions under which they are ready to do business with those who have legal ownership and power to invest the funds,” Takor said.
The acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the industry was looking at a “more effective deployment of pension fund assets in hard core and social infrastructure such as roads, rail, healthcare and education at commercial and profitable terms.
“Discussions are already ongoing with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, Financial Market Dealers Quotation, Nigerian Stock Exchange, InfraCredit and other relevant stakeholders,” she said.