PFA tasks government on policies for pension assets’ management

[FILE] Managing Director, IEI-Anchor Pension Mnangers Limited, Glory Etaduovie (left); Senator Jonathan Zwingina, Chairman and the Company Secretary, Mrs Femi Onoru, at the firm’s AGM.

IEI Anchor Pensions Limited has called on government to initiate policies that would allow it take advantage of the more than N8.2 trillion pension assets.The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Glory Etaduovie, said that would allow government to borrow from the pension fund to fix the country’s infrastructure challenges and meet its financial needs in a bid to grow and develop the nation’s economy.

Etaduovie said the funds are available, but accessibility would only require the strong commitment that accountability would guarantee. “The people’s future is tied to it, lest its purpose would be defeated and contributors lose faith in the Industry.Stating that the pension industry provides a pool of usable funds for Nigeria, with a chosen average of 20 per cent growth yearly, he expects the figure to double in the next five years.

At the current exchange rate to the dollar, he said, this is about half of the national foreign Reserves, while the amount also competes with 2018 national budget, which was N7.3 trillion.Pension, he said, has played a great social role affecting people’s lives at retirement, adding: “The aged are helped to maintain some self respect and depend less on children, who in present day, may be jobless.

“It is also no news any more that pension industry has become a great player in funding development projects, growth and sustenance of many businesses, institutional investors, as well as being employer of labour,” he said.The Pension fund, he stressed, has created an enabling environment for a whole lot to happen in the business world from its core objective of social security for the elderly, provision of long-term funds for investment in the private sector to availability of funds to Government for critical infrastructure development.He, however, called on the Pension industry regulators to encourage a more creative and competitive environment, as it is already doing with a variety of financial instruments.

Giving suggestion, he said, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), may at some point in time, be allowed to initiate certain products relating to infrastructure and economic development as long as they are bank-able, with entry and exit points and meet security and regulatory standards.The current level of growth of the Pension Funds vis-a-vis available investable instruments, he said, suggests that shortly, more funds will begin to chase lesser available investment products. This, he added, will create demand and supply related challenges. As such, he opined that the Investment/ development related ideologies need a revamp.

“Part of the greater challenge facing the country, which cascades down to Pensions investment, is the absence of a strong Sciences and Technology background
This reduces National initiatives and productivity, which should create wider circles of growth, development, financing and dynamics of financing. This must be addressed on both long and short term basis,” he advised.

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Glory Etaduovie
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