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THE National Pension Commission (PenCom) has revealed that pension fund assets rose to N12.66 trillion as of June 30, with contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) hitting the 9.38 million mark.

This represents an increase of about 2.1% when compared to the N12.4 trillion that was reported as net asset value in April 2021.

The disclosure of the new figure was made by the Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, at the 2021 Journalists Workshop held in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Positioning the Pension Industry in the Post COVID-19 Era.

Dahir-Umar, represented by Mr. Peter Aghahowa, Head, Corporate Communication, PenCom, noted that the consistent growth trajectory justified the commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.

Dahir-Umar stated that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a review of business processes across various organizations, 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 enroll prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).’’

The PenCom boss explained that with the deployment of this new application, a mass gathering of people had been avoided while enhancing convenience for the prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process.

The DG mentioned that another notable technological innovation by the commission was the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020.

She emphasized that public enlightenment and education was one of the 5 strategic focus areas pursued by the commission.

According to her, other strategic focus areas of PenCom included the resolution of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government and portfolio diversification of pension fund investments.

It can be recalled that in May 2021, PenCom released the April 2021 Pension Fund Industry (PFI) portfolio report, with the Net Asset Value (NAV) for April 2021 rising to N12.40 trillion from N12.34 trillion in March 2021.

Also, the Nigerian pension fund managers, earlier in July, offloaded their investments in foreign money market securities.

The reason behind this asset reallocation away from foreign money market securities may not be unconnected with the fact that money market instruments in the Western world are attracting near negative interest rates.

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