Nigeria: Despite Govt Borrowing, Experts Assures On Pension Fund Safety

Both stakeholders and pension experts have said that on going fears expressed by contributors into the Contributory Pension scheme on safety of their funds due to rumors that federal government borrowed pension fund to service its debts is unnecessary and uncalled for.

The stakeholders said this is because the CPS and its funds was sacrosanct and contributors’ funds were even guarded against effects of inflation.

They however said fears by the contributors were understandable given pensioners’ past experiences.

Recently, news of federal government borrowing large chunk of pension fund for the purpose of servicing its debts went viral making contributors into the CPS jittery over safety of their fund and hope of pensionable retirement.

The National Pension Commission (Pencom), in its defense went into battle of convincing and reassuring them on the safety of their funds by denying the reports.

Pencom’s Head of Corporate Services, Abdulqadir Dahiru, at a Stakeholders Forum/Interactive Session organised by the Public Complaint Commission with the theme: “Effective Administration of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria: Challenges and the Way Forward,” clarified that instead of the government borrowing pension funds, it was the investment team of pension fund administrators who invested the funds in government bonds.

Earlier, the Secretary, Public Complaint Commission, Mr Philip Enyali, explained that the dissatisfaction of many retirees and the need to address their many petitions to the Ombudsman, regarding their entitlements necessitated the interactive meeting with Stakeholders in the pension industry.

In his reaction, the founder, First Guarantee Pensions, Nze Chidi Duru, told THISDAY in a telephone interview that the contributors’ fears were uncalled for as government did not and could not borrow pension fund as they thought.

Also, Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights Advocacy, Ivo Takor said contributors should stop peddling rumors about government borrowing from pension fund or not because the over N13 trillion they contributed was not with PenCom and was not with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) or Pension Fund Custodians(PFCs) .

He told THISDAY in a telephone chat that since the money was not in one particular place, lending it to any body or government was not possible.

He said what was causing the rumor was because people were being cynical and found it difficult to believe whatever government or PenCom told them.

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