Nigeria pension fund could hit N50 trillion, says Duru

Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, First Guarantee Pensions Limited, Nze Chidi Duru (left); CEO, Cassa Capitale Limited, Augustine Iwelu; and Special Adviser on Media to the Vice Chairman, Osita Ogbuagu during a courtesy visit to The Guardian… yesterday. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Contrary to accolades being poured on the Nigeria Pension Commission (PenCom) for growing pension fund contributions from N2 trillion to N7 trillion, the Founder and Promoter of the First Guarantee Pension Limited, (FGPL), Nze Chidi Duru, yesterday said the commission underperformed given the country’s potential.

Duru said the nation’s pension funds could hit the N50 trillion mark given the right response from the regulators. Duru, who led a three-man team on a visit to the Rutam House, headquarters of The Guardian yesterday, said Nigeria should be reaping more from pensions 10 years after the Pension Reform Act (PRA) was enacted in 2004 by the National Assembly because over 30 million Nigerians should have been encouraged to enroll in the contributory pension administration.

According to him, Nigeria’s contribution to the pension fund stands at about $6 billion, unlike that of South Africa which is short of $100 billion, which is being used to drive the economy.

The former lawmaker stressed that the 2014 PRA, which was supposed to improve on the 2004 Act was only designed to make the former boss eligible to be appointed as a substantive Director General as it reduced the requirement of 20 years cognate experience in financial sector to 15 years, while allowing her to be in acting capacity for 18 months to enable her to be qualified to be appointed in September 2014.

Duru who thanked the newspaper for giving him the opportunity to tell his own side of the story during his six years ordeal at the hands of security agencies and the regulators, said his ordeal was orchestrated by vested interests within PenCom.

He urged the new Director General of PenCom, to utilise pension assets of about six trillion in investments in infrastructure development in the country.

He attributed the large infrastructure deficit in key sectors of the economy to population growth, demographic changes and urbanisation, which have increased the demand for infrastructure in the country.


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