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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Atiku criticizes Nigerian government’s decision to tap pension funds for infrastructure development

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is calling on the Nigerian government to abandon its plan to access money from the country’s pension taxpayers and other related funds to develop critical infrastructure.

Atiku made the call on Wednesday after the government announced its intention to tap those investment funds.

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Apart from pension funds, the government is also seeking to source life insurance and other funds from the investment industry to the tune of N20 trillion.

The move to tap into the savings of Nigerian workers and seniors, who live on them in retirement, to upgrade the government’s funding plan could jeopardize the livelihood and survival of many, Atiku said in a Twitter statement on Wednesday.

“It is another attempt to perpetrate illegality by the Federal Government,” he stated.

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“In particular, the Federal Government must not act contrary to the provisions of the current Regulation on investment limits, i.e.: pension funds cannot invest more than 5% of the total assets of pension funds in investments in infrastructure “.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Economy Wale Edun said in a press conference on Tuesday that the cash pool will help provide long-term housing and mortgages, some of them for more than 25 years at affordable interest rates .

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“In Nigeria there are long-term funds available to finance infrastructure projects and they are generally within the pension, life insurance and investment fund industry,” Edun said during a speech after the monthly meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja.

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“There are offers of N20 billion available and much of it is short-term financing which is not necessary. Pension money is long-term,” she added.

All parties agreed to the measure, the minister added.

The National Pension Commission’s Regulation on the Investment of Pension Fund Assets, which provides a legal framework for how pension contributions should be managed, allows the investment of pension money in government securities such as bonds and bills of exchange. treasure. There is no provision for the government to borrow from the funds.

“Pension fund assets can be invested in bonds and other securities issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria without any limitations. No more than 2.0% of pension fund assets may be invested in bonds and debt instruments issued by any state government,” sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the document state.

READ ALSO: Obi meets Atiku, Saraki and Lamido

Last October, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to investigate the state of pension funds in Nigeria with a view to recovering N10 trillion allegedly borrowed by the Nigerian government. That sum was equivalent to 65 percent of the total assets under management of the Nigerian pension industry at the time.

Aliyu Misau, the lawmaker representing Misau/Dambam Federal Constituency, Bauchi State, who moved the motion, said the inability of pensioners to “access their pension has caused untold hardship to retirees as they cannot not even pay for basic needs.”

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