The Nigerian Union of Pensioners has fought against the pension fund’s borrowing scheme, noting that the government has no control over the money and should not, therefore, tamper with it.
This is as two plans to borrow a total of N17tn from two sources for infrastructural growth have been approved by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
The Governors took the decision after receiving a briefing from the Governor of the State of Kaduna, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who is Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of the National Economic Council on the Leveraging of the Accumulated Pension Funds for Investment in the Sovereign Investment Authority of Nigeria.
El-Rufai briefed the forum on the planned National Infrastructure Investment Fund, saying that through the NSIA it was possible to access a total amount of N2tn at nine percent interest.
This was contained in a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the NGF’s 22nd teleconference meeting.
The communiqué was made available on Friday to journalists in Abuja.
The NEC expressed its intention at the beginning of the year to borrow N2tn from the rising funds under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
On Friday, statistics obtained from the National Pension Commission showed that as of the end of August, the total funds under the scheme stood at N11.34tn, of which N7.5tn had been invested in securities of the Federal Government.
However, the Pension Reform Act specifies that except in compliance with the investment guidelines of the National Pension Commission, the funds should not be released by the Pension Fund Custodians to the Pension Fund Managers to be managed as loans or placed into other investments.
According to the communiqué, Fayemi noted that a similar proposal had been made by the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, for access to N15tn for national financing of infrastructure via InfraCredit at a lower interest rate of five percent.
Consequently, the governors decided to accept the two initiatives that both the el-Rufai Committee and the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, considered for infrastructure growth, noting that both were not mutually exclusive and could be implemented concurrently with one flowing into the other.
Following the killing by Boko Haram terrorists of more than 43 rice farmers by terrorists in Borno State last week the governors, who had previously sent a delegation to commiserate with their counterpart in Borno State, Babagana Zulum, resolved to meet with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to find a permanent solution to the worsening security situation.