Despite the challenges in the economy occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, the total pension assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose by N359bn from N10.2tn as of the end of December 2019 to N10.57tn as of the end of April 2020, according to latest statistics from the National Pension Commission on Friday.
The commission disclosed that the bulk of the fund, totalling N7tn of 66.25 per cent of the funds had been invested in Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities.
Some of the funds were invested in agency bonds, supra-national bonds, commercial papers, foreign money market securities, and open/closed-end funds.
Other investment portfolios where the operators invested the funds are Real Estate Investment Trusts, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets.
The acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the scheme was important in the face of contemporary developments in Nigeria’s pension landscape and the Nigerian economy as a whole.
She said, “The Contributory Pension Scheme was established to address challenges bedeviling the erstwhile retirement benefit system (Pay As You Go/Defined Benefit) in the public sector and Provident Fund/Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund in the private sector.”
The pioneering Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mr Muhammad Ahmad, said there was a need to encourage development of enabling framework for pension funds to facilitate national development.
He said Public Private Partnership rules needed to be strengthened at both the national and state levels.
Ahmad said that Africa infrastructure collaboration initiatives such as roads, rails, telecommunication and power among others, should be promoted.
He said, “There is also a need to promote credit enhancement market in the short term.
“Currently, infraCredit is virtually the only private institution, backed by MDFOs, providing such guarantees (incentives) in Nigeria.
“However, enabling environment such as policies on project preparation to enable quality project issuance, needs to be established so as to walk ourselves out of provision of guarantees in the future.”