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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has continued to gain traction as N3.37 trillion was injected in the fund assets in 2023.
Data obtained from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) revealed that as at December 2022, the pension fund assets stood at N14.99 trillion and peaked at N18.36 trillion in December 2023.
According to PenCom Retirement Savings Account membership also moved from 9.86 million to 10.19 million, gaining 329,271 subscribers.
PenCom noted that as at the of December 2023, N11.92 trillion of the pension fund assets were invested in Federal Government of Nigeria securities, which include; bonds, N11.45 trillion; treasury bills, N214.50 billion; agency bonds, N9.86 billion; sukuk, N128.80 billion and green bond, N117.34 billion.
It said state securities gulped N271.36 billion and money market instruments N1.67 trillion.
PenCom stated that between November and December 2023, N428.13 billion was injected into the assets.
Putting the fund at Dollar terms, the pension industry regulator said the N18.36 trillion amounted to $20.41 billion, exchanged at N899.39 to United States Dollars.
Director General PenCom Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the Commission is focused and committed to growing the scheme to enable the citizenry enjoy better life in retirement.
She posited that PenCom is currently putting finishing touches on foreign currency denominated investments guidelines that would enable Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) earn real return on investment.
President of PenOp and Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited Olumide Oyetan, said the CPS remains one of the greatest national policy from democracy, stating that before commencement of the CPS, retirees were subjected to old age poverty as they were unable to get their pension at retirement.
He posited that the CPS is unique due to the safe valves, checks and balances ensured by the tripod structure which are the regulator, PFAs and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs).
He called on the government and public to sustain their faith on the CPS which for the past 19 years has continued to thrive without any incident of fraud.
He said pension operators would continue to innovated and comply with stipulated rules in offering quality services to contributors and retirees.
Chief Executive Officer Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Oguche Agudah, said the event was organised to keep journalist abreast of strides recorded so far in the pension industry and to also interact with them on how to improve service delivery in the sector.
He noted that the industry in year 2024 would experience great transformations going by innovations being worked on by PenCom and operators.