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PenCom denies allegations of N10tn loan to federal government

PenCom Clarifies Investment Practices and Pension Arrears Amidst Controversy

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Aisha Dahir-Umar, Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), refuted claims that the commission loaned N10tn to the Federal Government, emphasizing the distinction between pension fund investments and loans during a recent interview.

The controversy arose after the House of Representatives initiated efforts to recover what it deemed as N10tn pension funds “borrowed” by the Federal Government, prompting Dahir-Umar to clarify PenCom’s role in managing pension assets.

Contrary to assertions, Dahir-Umar clarified that PenCom does not function as a bank nor directly manage pension funds, but rather oversees licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) responsible for investment decisions and fund management.

She elucidated that investments in federal government securities by PFAs are compliant with regulations set forth by the Debt Management Office and Securities and Exchange Commission, emphasizing transparency and adherence to legal frameworks.

Addressing concerns regarding outstanding pension arrears for Federal Government retirees, Dahir-Umar asserted that while the Federal Government has obligations to meet pension repayments, delays stem from budgetary constraints and historical funding issues predating the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Dahir-Umar assured that efforts to secure additional funding for accrued pension rights are ongoing, acknowledging challenges within the government’s budgetary limitations.

Despite these challenges, Dahir-Umar emphasized that retirees enrolled under the Contributory Pension Scheme continue to receive their benefits through licensed PFAs, underscoring PenCom’s commitment to addressing pension-related grievances.

As of the end of 2023, the total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme amounted to N18.36tn, reflecting the significant scale and importance of pension management in Nigeria’s financial landscape.

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