Union Doubts FG’s Ability to Manage N3.7tn Pension Fund


PenCom-0403.jpg - PenCom-0403.jpg

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has expressed displeasure over the alleged plan by the federal government to invest about N3.72 trillion accumulated pension funds domiciled with the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on infrastructure development.

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The NUP stated Wednesday in Abuja that the fears stem from historical cases of government’s mismanagement of public and pension funds under the now rested pay-as-you-go pension administration system, saying it was not against accountable investment of pension funds for infrastructure upgrade and others.

The newly sworn-in President of NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, stated at a ceremony to send forth the immediate past President of the union, Alhaji Ali Abatcha, that if the government must go ahead with its plan to invest the pension funds into key infrastructural goods, then it must be carefully planned and executed with inputs from PenCom, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and all other stakeholders with links to workers’ welfare.

He said: “The attention of the union has been drawn to the intention of the federal government to invest pension funds on infrastructure such as roads, health care, transport, housing, power, gas, agriculture and water resources, that is okay because we cannot have pension funds lying idle while we have all these things happening in the country.

“As a critical stakeholder in the pension industry, it behooves us to add our voice to the ongoing national debate as it is our members that would be affected either positively or negatively in the end after retirement.
“We want to make it clear that the union is not totally opposed to the idea of investing the funds which in the first place is meant to yield returns on investment and thereby boost the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of future retirees but suffice to say that our fear is premised on the ability of our government to provide sufficient protection for the safety of the funds to be invested,” Afolayan said.

He added: “Going by past experience and incidences, the politicians in government and their collaborators in the civil service had woefully failed us in terms of managing public and pension funds under the pay-as-you-go system as billions of naira meant for payment of pensions had been grossly siphoned, misused, misapplied and mismanaged in the past to the detriment of the pensioners.”
Afolayan also cited current media reports on the missing Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) fund as one of the reason for NUP’s skepticism over government’s integrity and competence to manage the pension funds.

He equally warned that the union would in a matter of days resolve to close down operations of all public post offices across the country over government’s failure to pay the pension arrears of its members.
He however noted that the union was scheduled to meet with the Post Master General of the federation on the issue.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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