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Chuks Udo Okonta
Pension operators are studying how their colleagues in Singapore have made significant inroad in investing pension funds in infrastructure without burning their fingers, Inspen can report.
The Head, Technical Committee, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Dapo Akinsanya, who disclosed this, said the operators are exploring how pension funds have been used to financed infrastructure in the country to see if such can be replicated in the Nigeria.
He noted that the operators have looked into the templates of other country, adding that the Singaporean seems to be the best. He stressed that the operators are anxious to invest in infrastructure, but they have to tread with caution to ensure contributors’ funds are put in the right place where they are safe.
The Chairman of PenOp Eguarekhide Longe, said the operators are ready to invest in infrastructural bonds whenever the government decides to float them to finance key developmental projects.
He noted that the operators are ready to invest provided there are adequate measures to guarantee safety of the 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 laying 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 Former Chairman of the association Dave Udeanu, called on the government to come up with projects that are backed up with adequate guarantee, stressing that most states have already invested part of the pension funds in infrastructure.
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.