The total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to N10.22tn as of the end of December 2019, the National Pension Commission, has stated.
According to the commission, a total of N7.34tn or 71.87 per cent of the funds has been invested by the Pension Fund Administrators in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities, including FGN bonds, treasury bills, agency bonds, Sukuk bonds and green bonds.
Under the Pension Reform Act 2014, the PFAs invest the accumulating funds in different investment portfolios, which were in the custody of the Pension Fund Custodians.
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 REITS, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets.
The President, Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria, Mrs Ronke Adedeji, said it was important to ensure the growth and improvement of the pension industry.
She said there was enormous potential for the sector to contribute to the development of the Nigerian economy.
Adedeji said, “Of note also is the agitation to utilise pension funds for infrastructure. While in principle, there is no objection to this, it is extremely important that we bear in mind that these are peoples’ monies.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that they are secure. They must only be invested in viable and secure instruments that assure the owners of the funds that they can access their monies as and when due.
“Returns also need to be competitive as this is part of the funds used at retirement. l would also like to point out that it is a myth that pension funds are lying idle and not used for the development of the nation.”
The Director, Centre for Pension Right Advocacy, Ivor Takor, said pension funds should be invested and not borrowed.