The over N5.3trillion pension funds in the custody of the National Pension Commission is safe and secured, Eguarekhide Longe, chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has assured.
PenOp is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making body established to promote the operations of the pension industry in the country.
Longe spoke at the weekend against the background of proposal by the Federal Government to invest the N5.3trillion pension funds on infrastructure finance.
The PenOp boss who is the Managing Director of AIICO Pension Managers Limited allayed fears that the pension funds were under some kind of threat.
“The guidelines are very clear. You can have an equity investment in infrastructure and you can have a fixed income investment in infrastructure, debts.
“Now, with debts the government owes you an obligation, which is not different from what we’re doing currently with FGN bond. That is the direction that we have opted to engage government on with infrastructure,” he said.
Speaking further, he said his team has since advised the Federal Government on the need to float specific bonds targeted at infrastructure finance.
Longe recalled that: “We said to them if you want to engage going forward, you can raise specific projects bonds fresh that you can invest in. And those bonds would be contractual. You will give us their interest, they give us the time of their liquidation and so on and so forth. So it’s simply changing the FGN bonds to target basic infrastructure needs. That way you’re protected as a subscriber. It is not different from what was been done before. We’re not looking right now to engage on the equity channel.”
While assuring that the fears of the pensioners are unfounded, he said: “The pension industry is an oasis of sanity in this country and we will never act in an irresponsible way because we also have our money there. So it‘s unfounded completely.”
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