Despite the challenges of COVID-19 on the economy, the total pension assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose by N577.77bn from N10.21tn as of December 31, 2019 to N10.79tn as of the end of May 2020.
The National Pension Commission disclosed this in its report titled ‘Summary of pension fund assets as at 31 May, 2020’, obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday.
The statistics showed that the bulk of the funds totalling N7.2tn had been invested in Federal Government’s securities including FGN bonds, treasury bills, sukuk and green bonds.
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 pioneer Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mr Muhammad Ahmad, had in a recent forum said there was a need to encourage the 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.”