Financial Turmoil: Pensioners Alarmed Over Insecurity of Fund
By Chris Agabi, The Daily Trust
October 10, 2008
As the global financial crisis rages and the Nigeria’s stock market’s decline takes its toll on the nation’s finance health, pensioners and members of the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria (CPIN) have expressed concern on the security of the pension funds.
The pension funds which currently stands in excess of N970 billion with substantial amount invested in government securities and in the Nigeria Stock Exchange according to the Director General of Nigerian Pension Commission, MohammedAhmed, the pensioners fear it would be affected by the market loses thus return them back to the inglorious days of non pension payment.
Speaking at the CPIN National Workshop on “embracing new pension system, benefits and issues,” Mazi Okechukwu Onegbu, the first vice President of the Institute called for an appraisal of the implications of the financial meltdown on the pension funds.
“The pension fund administrators invested some of the pension monies in the capital market and with the meltdown, we should be able to define the security of pensioners’ funds so we don’t drift into days when pensioners were owned”, he said.
While commending the contributory pension scheme and Pencom, he also pledged the Institute’s willingness to partner with all stakeholders to improve the plight of Nigeria’s senior citizens.
He also said the purpose of the workshop was to brainstorm on pension reform challenges and how to position the Institute to effectively implement its roles.
In her presentation at the workshop, Dr. Tonia Smart, represented by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Centre Point Investment, Mr. Emmanuel Awure, advised PFAs not to panic with the financial crisis but be bold enough to make huge investments particularly in blue chip companies in the market now that it is down so when the market improves, they will reap more.
She called on PENCOM for wider publicity of the major aspects of the Pension Act 2004 as well as the requirements to processing of benefits to both employees and employers.
With current shareholders fund of N3.754 billion, Fasina said the company’s turnover would hit N264 billion by the end of the year while earnings per share is expected to hit N2 per share.
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