Ahmad seeks forex for pension funds investment

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The pioneering Director-General, National Pension Commission, Muhammad Ahmad, has urged the operators under the Contributory Pension Scheme to approach the Central Bank of Nigeria to be able to access foreign exchange for pension fund investment.

Ahmad said this during a retreat organised by the pension fund operators for lawmakers in Uyo, recently.

He said, “It is imperative that PenCom and the operators engage the Central Bank of Nigeria to develop a workable framework to access foreign exchange for pension fund investment for the benefits of Retirement Savings Account holders in the immediate future.

“Going forward, However, I will strongly suggest that the need for presidential assent be removed and replaced with the power of the board of the commission to issue investment regulations for foreign investment as it is done in a number of Northern and Southern American countries.

“This can be achieved by collaboration between the operators, PenCom and the legislators. However, this is not urgent as the process has not been tested.”

Ahmad, also said there was a need to encourage development of enabling framework for pension funds to facilitate national development.

In this case, he said, Public Private Partnership rules needed to be strengthened at both the national and state levels.

He said that Africa infrastructure collaboration initiatives such as roads, rails, telecommunication and power among others, should be promoted.

Ahamd said, “There is also a need to promote credit enhancement market in the short term. Currently, infraCredit is virtually the only private institution, backed by MDFOs, providing such guarantees (incentives) in Nigeria.

However, enabling environment such as policies on project preparation to enable quality project issuance, need to be established so as to walk ourselves out of provision of guarantees in the future.”

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