The total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose by N100bn from N8.23tn in June to N8.33tn at the end of August 2018.
Punch reports that the acting Director General, National Pension Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed this during a retreat organised by the Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria for the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service, and Pension, in Calabar, Cross River State.
Dahir-Umar said, “It is now 14 years since the introduction of the CPS and I am pleased to note that appreciable progress has been made. As of August 2018, the pension industry membership had grown to 8.31 million participants, while the size of the pension fund assets stood at N8.33tn.
“The number of retirees receiving benefits under the CPS as of August 2018 was 245,657. Out of that number, 189,308 retirees are on programmed withdrawal and 56,349 have opted for annuity. In the same vein, death benefits had been paid to 52,468 beneficiaries.”
According to her, the statistics are clear evidence that the CPS has greatly improved access to retirement benefits for employees in both the public (Federal Government) as well as the private sectors.
The President, PenOp, Mrs Aderonke Adedeji, noted that the issue of the role of pension funds in economic development had moved into the focus of public attention, particularly with regard to Nigeria’s growing need for long-term capital.
The PenCom boss also stated that it had helped to improve the issue of funding even though some work were still needed in that regard.
She explained that successful mobilisation of pension fund assets and contributions to the economic growth of any nation were essential policy objectives.
“For the first time, our country can now boast of a long-term funding base and the impact to date has included the funding of the government and government projects, development of the capital market as well as increased foreign development inflows,” she added.
While this is positive, Adedeji said a note of caution must be raised in view of recent agitations to access the funds for infrastructure.
“In principle, the industry has no objections to funding infrastructure. In fact, there are benefits to doing so. However, it must be understood that such investments must be in well structured and credit-worthy instruments. The position is enshrined in the law and supported by PenCom regulations,” she added.