Use pension funds to bridge infrastructure gap, Uduanu urges FG
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Pensions Limited, Dave Uduanu, has emphasized the potential of pension funds in addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit,
Speaking at the eighth Annual National Conference of Nigeria Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) in Lagos, Uduanu said by tapping into the pension fund investment landscape, Nigeria could reduce its reliance on external borrowing and mitigate financial vulnerabilities.
This approach, he said, is especially crucial given the ongoing expansion of the industry and the limited investment instruments available for pension funds.
During the panel discussion, Uduanu, represented by Access Pensions’ Chief Investment Officer, Wale Okunrinboye, noted that while a substantial portion of pension investment currently resides in fixed income, there is room for greater allocation to infrastructure.
“One thing we can do better is to have a visible impact. One way people can truly feel the tangible impact of their pensions is in the area of infrastructure investments. Today, a large portion of pension fund investments are in fixed income, but imagine driving on a road built with pension funds, that’s when people will realise their pension fund is truly working for them,” he said.
He also raised a crucial question regarding the future of pension fund portfolios, saying: “We started this industry in 2004, and now it is about N16 trillion. In the next 10 to 15 years, what will the investment portfolio look like? Will it still be dominated by government securities or will it play a more significant role in financing infrastructure and stimulating economic growth?”
He reiterated the persistent infrastructure deficit in Nigeria and suggested that with a well-defined framework, long-term funds, such as pensions and insurance, could be channeled effectively toward bridging the gap.
“Over the years, the Nigerian government has been faced with the challenge of infrastructure financing deficits. What better way to address this than by utilising pension and insurance funds, which are inherently long-term and capable of providing flexible domestic capital for these critical projects,” he concluded.
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