Funds up 2% in 2 months to N12.66trn
The investment philosophy of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) is driven by the increasing growth of the size of the funds in the national pension pot, Aisha Dahir-Umar, its director general has said.
Dahir-Umar said this amid recent numbers showing that the total pension fund assets rose to N12.66 trillion as of the second quarter ended June 30th. It compares with the N12.40 trillion, which was reported on pension funds industry portfolio for the period ended 30th April 2021, representing a 2 percent rise in two months.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Positioning the Pension Industry in the post-COVID-19 Era’, during the 2021 journalists workshop held in Lagos recently, the PenCom director-general, represented by Peter Aghahowa, head, corporate communication, noted that the consistent growth trajectory justified the commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets while assuring pension stakeholders that the implementation of the CPS remained on course.
Dahir-Umar pointed out that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a review of business processes across various organisations, which made it imperative for the commission to deepen technology innovation.
She said, “COVID-19 has engendered socio-economic disruptions of the entire global order, with multifarious challenges in conducting hitherto routine activities. It was, therefore, imperative for the commission to deepen technological innovation to navigate through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
“The most recent technological innovation introduced by the commission is the in-house designed and developed online enrolment application. The application has capabilities to register, verify and enrol prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” she said.
The deployment of this new application has helped to solve the problem of mass gathering of people whilst also enhancing convenience for prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process, Dahir-Umar said, adding that the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020, was another technological innovation by the commission.
According to her, public enlightenment and education was one of the five strategic focus areas currently pursued by the commission.“This is considered germane considering that 17 years after the pension reform in Nigeria, there still exists a knowledge gap on the CPS. Consequently, the commission is committed to reinvigorating its public enlightenment and education drive to address this challenge,” she said.
Other strategic focus areas, she disclosed, are: the resolution of outstanding pension liabilities of the federal government; portfolio diversification of pension fund investments, improvement in customer service delivery across the pension industry and unrelenting pursuit of sustainable growth of the pension industry by expanding the coverage of the CPS.