Its time for chest-beating for analysts who have stood against plans by the federal government to deep hands into to pension fund belonging to Nigerian workers as 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’.The low-down depicts that most of the funds totaling N7.2tn had been invested in Federal Government’s securities namely- FGN bonds, treasury bills, Sukuk, green bonds.
Other investment channels where the funds were invested include 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 very vital in the face of contemporary developments in Nigeria’s pension landscape and the Nigerian economy as a whole.
According to her, “The Contributory Pension Scheme was established to address challenges bedeviling the erstwhile retirement benefit system 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.
But in this era when the Nigerian government is believed to be taking on debts recklessly,a good number of Nigerians are fretful that these pension assets may be wasted by a regime that has put our economy at a debt to revenue ratio of 99%. Which is really dangerous to the nation’s economic health.
Only this year alone the government has either obtain permission or taken loans amounting to a combined total of $31billion,this is not counting the billions it had acquired over the past five years since it came to power.