Oguche at the event
OPENING REMARK BY OGUCHE AGUDAH, CEO PENOP, AT THE 3RD NASS RETREAT
ON THE PENSION INDUSTRY –
HOLDING AT THE LAGOS MARRIOTT, 9TH – 11TH JULY 2021
1. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service
Distinguished Senator (Dr.) Ibrahim Shekarau, CON
2. Distinguished members of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service
3. The Chairman, House Committee on Pensions
Honourable Kabiru Al-Hassan Usman Rurum
Turakin Rano and Turaki Addini Kosofe Land, Lagos state
4. Honourable members of the House Committee on Pensions
5. The Director-General of the National Pension Commission
Hajia Aisha Dahir-Umar
6. Members of the Board of Trustees of the Pension Fund Operators of Nigeria here present
7. Management and staff of the National Pension Commission
8. President & Members of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria
9. Members of the Press
10. Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning.
2.Having welcomed several of you unofficially yesterday and earlier this morning, it is my pleasure, to officially welcome you all to the annual retreat between the pension industry and the National Assembly. It is indeed an added pleasure to see you all in one location after more than one year, as we took a break in the year 2020 because of the obvious reason of the outbreak of the novel corona virus and its effect on all our activities. We are grateful and thankful to God that our gathering is for a joyous occasion of this retreat.
3. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, seventeen years into the pension reform, we can all be very proud of the gains and progress that the industry has made over the period. With more than 9 million Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) across the private and public sector, many of our fellow Nigerians have confidence that they can have peace of mind in their retirement years.
4. The annual growth of the pension assets is also impressive, growing at a Compound annual growth rate of 32% as at 2019, which is faster than the GDP growth rate. Furthermore, the pension industry has grown to become the largest institutional investor locally, driving the growth of the bond market and contributing to overall capital market development.
5. We could go on and on about the gains and progress the industry has made which are incontrovertible. This would have been impossible without the support of the National Assembly and every other stakeholder present here. However, today’s event is not just about patting ourselves on the back and giving ourselves high fives for a job well done- which we have all done! It’s also about an opportunity to reflect on what we could have done better, chart the course for the next phase of growth and work together towards ensuring greater links between the pension industry and the larger economy
6. It is on that note, that I’d like to set the tone for this year’s retreat. We have all our key stakeholders in the room- the legislators who are always ready to convey the concerns of their constituents and legislate on matters affecting them; the regulators who have been an incredible partner and indeed midwifed the industry so far. And, the press, our valuable partners who showcase the good we do and are our check in pointing out where we do not do well.
7. All these augurs well for what we believe will be a time well spent in fruitful deliberations and well thought out recommendations and conclusions.
8. Dear partners, I urge you all to be switched on for the next eight (8) or so hours that we spend together today. This weekend’s retreat is a culmination of weeks of planning to ensure that everyone is comfortable, has a bit of fun, but is also apprised of the issues as we work together to come up with outcomes that will benefit the teeming number of Nigerians who look to all of us in this room to continue to uphold the integrity of the current pension system. Through our deliberations, we also expect to fashion out an even better system that will underpin the hopes and aspirations of the nation at large.
9. Once again, on behalf of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, which comprises of all the licensed pension fund operators in Nigeria, I wish you all a warm welcome.
10. Thank you for listening and let the deliberations begin.