Atiku kicks against FG’s plan to use N20trn pension fund for infrastructure projects

Atiku kicks against FG’s plan to use N20trn pension fund for infrastructure projects
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Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, has kicked against
the federal government’s plan to use Nigeria’s pension fund to finance
infrastructure projects.


In a post on X on Wednesday, Abubakar said it is a misguided
initiative that must be stopped immediately.


On May 14, Wale Edun, the finance minister and coordinating
minister of the economy, said the government has unveiled a strategic plan to
harness the N20 trillion pension fund and other locally available resources for
infrastructure development in Nigeria.


Edun said it was a significant step towards driving economic
progress and addressing critical infrastructure needs.


However, Abubakar warned the decision could have devastating
effects on the lives of Nigerians who have worked hard, saved money, and now
rely on their pensions after retiring from service.


“My attention is drawn to a disturbing disclosure by the
finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun, as he
addressed state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC)
meeting at the presidential villa on Tuesday, 14 May,” Abubakar said.


“There is, according to the minister, a move by the federal
government to rev up economic growth by unlocking N20 trillion from the
nation’s pension funds and other funds to finance critical infrastructure
projects across the country.


 “The minister has
indicated that although “the initiative is expected to attract foreign
investment interest over time”, domestic savings are his ‘immediate focus’ for


“He provided no useful details, such as the percentage of
the funds to be mopped up from the pension funds, for example.

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“Even at that, this move must be halted immediately!  It is a misguided initiative that could lead
to disastrous consequences on the lives of Nigeria’s hardworking men and women
who toiled and saved and who now survive on their pensions having retired from


“It is another attempt to perpetrate illegality by the
federal government.”



Abubakar said the government must be cautioned to act
strictly within the provisions of the Pension Reform Act of 2014 (PRA 2014),
along with the revised Regulation on Investment of Pension Funds Assets issued
by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).


“In particular, the federal government must not act contrary
to the provisions of the extant Regulation on investment limits to which
Pension Funds can invest no more than 5% of total pension funds’ assets in
infrastructure investments,” Abubakar said


“I note that as of December 2023, total pension funds assets
were approximately N18 trillion, of which 75% of these are investments in FGN


 “There is NO free
Pension Funds that is more than 5% of the total value of the nation’s pension
fund for Mr. Edun to fiddle with.”


He said there are no easy ways to address the challenges of
funding infrastructure development in Nigeria.


Abubakar added that the minister needs to implement the
necessary reforms to regain investor confidence in the Nigerian economy and to
leverage private resources, skills, and technology.


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