‘Pensions assets in Nigeria have remained robust, well protected’
PENSION Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has assured contributors to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) of the Pension Reforms Act 2004 and the 2014 uniform contributory pension scheme that the scheme has remained robust and very well protected.
The Chairman of the association, Misbahu Umar Yola, speaking at the media interactive meeting at the association’s secretariat in Lagos, said the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) have not lost any pension assets, rather the CPS has remained stable and well protected, and contributors are receiving their statements monthly through their RSA.
He said “We can say with all amount of certainty that we have not lost any pension asset. In fact pension assets have been well protected in this country, for anyone to say that pension assets have been lost is mischievous, it is not correct”.
According to him, “We have an environment and the market that is not very deep, for instance, what is happening at the Stock Exchange, the market is not deep. Therefore, if we are conservative because of the dictates of the market and given the vagaries of our society, the shallowness of our markets, you will agree with us that safety comes first, safety of assets must be well protected.”
The PenOp boss explained that from all economic statistics, pension fund have been protected in this country by regulation and practice of operators. Safety is the most paramount thing. Liquidity is the next, because contributors get paid not by bread and butter, people get paid in cash, therefore pension must be liquid, the next is returns on investment as part of the business, you cannot keep money stagnant.
Apparently in response to agitation for investment of pension funds in strategic sectors of the economy, Yola said “Pension assets for economic development is right and great, but it has to be done in a very safe manner that the assets are protected. We have no objection to that, but bring the instruments that are safe, it will be done. We repeat that 50 to 60 per cent of assets are in government bonds, treasury bills, government bonds are developmental bonds. It is ideal, we are all for it, with right instruments, the right clime, checks and balances that are safe, it will be done.”
“But if the market is not all that deep, the choices are not there and the risk returns are not appropriate, please remember in the first place, the money belongs to the contributors, it never belong to the general public, that is, if you have not contributed into the fund, you have not claim to that fund. It is people’s money. It belongs to the contributors. It does not belong to the Federal Government, it does not belong to the state governments. It is people’s money who have contributed to the fund.”
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