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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has called on those seeking to invest pension funds to come up with ventures that would be beneficial to all parties – retirees, operators and the investors.
the President of the association, Eguarekhide Longe, told Inspen that there is a gap between the thinking of investors and pension operators, stressing that the investors often fail to see things from the operators’ view point.
“I think there is a gulf between the operators and the investment banking community. They have expressed frustrations that the pension operators do not make it easy for them to deliver projects, but in many cases, they do not also see the projects from the pension operators’ point of view.
“Most times they are motivated by what fee they can earn, rather than look to see that we deliver a balanced venture that is beneficial to them. Whatever we want to do as operators, must be beneficial to our contributors. If all these are taken into consideration, then I think we would see rapid growth in the industry and the country,” he said.
He noted that the operators are in business first and foremost to caretaker for the future of workers, adding that workers at retirement would not want to take any story rather than having their benefits.
“We cannot use blocks to pay retirees at the time when their retirement benefits become due. It is money that we are going to use to pay them. So, we must invest in projects that mature at the right time with good returns to be able to pay them,” he added.
Echoing him, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer FUG Pensions Limited, Usman Suleiman, said the first objective for establishing the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) is to ensure that retirees do not go through herculean tasks before accessing their benefits, adding that investment of the funds is secondary and should never be allowed to override the main objective of ensuring better life for retirees.