PenOp decries lack of infrastructure bond in Nigeria


From left: Compliance Officer, Stanbic IBTC Pension, Mrs. Idu Okwuosa; Managing Director, Zenith Pension Fund Custodian (PFC), Mrs. Nkem Oni-Egbuna; Managing Director, AIICO Pension and Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) Eguarekhide Longe; Executive Secretary, PenOp, Susan Oranye; Managing Director, AXA Mansard Pension, Dapo Akinsanya and Managing Director, FUG Pension, Usman Suleiman, at a media retreat organised by PenOp for Pension Correspondents in Lekki, Lagos.

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Pension fund managers have expressed concern over the lack of infrastructure bond in the country, in spite the call in some quarters for the deployment of pension funds in infrastructure.

The Chairman Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) the umbrella body of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) Eguarekhide Longe, at an event in Lagos, said operators are ready to invest in such bonds if they are made available and meet the statutory requirements.

He noted operators are ready to invest provided there are adequate measures to guarantee safety of the funds, stressing that pension funds are held in trust for workers; hence the funds would not be invested outside the provisions in the investment guidelines.
Longe urged those calling for deployment of pension funds into infrastructure to understand that the funds are not lying idle in any bank, adding that 70 per cent of the funds are already invested in government securities.

He called on the government and those agitating for deployment of the funds to view the contributed funds from economic strategy stand point, stressing that doing so would help in ensuring that they are invested in projects with capacity to yield positive returns.

The Managing Director FUG Pensions Limited, Usman Suleiman, said the primary objective of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) is to ensure workers have something to fall back on when they retire. He noted that investment of the funds have to be done with caution as workers would not want to return to the era of struggling to get their benefits when they retire.

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