By Nse Anthony-Uko
LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – Director-General of the National Pension Commission, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu -Amazu, has stressed that no pension fund was lying idle, adding that investment of the funds must follow the laid down guidelines.
This is as pension fund assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has increased to N5.74 trillion at the second quarter of this year.
Anohu -Amazu, who gave the figure at the weekend in Lagos while delivering a paper at the 17th Annual Lecture of the Catholic Brothers United (CBU), noted that the pension fund assets had seen a drastic growth over the decade from about N2 trillion deficit in June, 2004 to N5.74 trillion in 2016.
Anohu- Amazu said the pool of funds was being invested on behalf of the contributors based on the provision of the Pension Reform Act (PRA ) 2014.
Speaking on the topic ‘the use of Pension fund as catalyst for economic diversification’, the DG, noted that there was urgent need to diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil given the current volatility in the global energy market.
“The pension funds are not idle but we don’t just give out money arbitrarily. The Pension Funds Administrators are the investors of the funds and PenCom regulates the investment,” she said.
She said if any PFA invested the funds in assets not approved, the commission would know and could withdraw the operator’s licence or apply some other forms of punishment.
More than a decade after the CPS commenced, the director-general said no fraud had been recorded in the scheme.
The commission said it had continued its consultative philosophy in regulating and supervising the industry.
“The risk-based examination approach was implemented as a way of promoting transparency and providing early warning signals as well as encouraging pension operators to regularly self-evaluate their positions,” she stated.