Nigeria: PenOp Urges Offshore Investment of Pension Funds Amid Naira Devaluation

PenOp Urges Offshore Investment of Pension Funds Amid Naira Devaluation
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The Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has called on the National Assembly to amend the pension law to permit the investment of pension funds offshore. This move is aimed at hedging against inflation and the devaluation of the naira.

During the PenOp 4th National Assembly Retreat 2024, which included members of the House Committee on Pensions and the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, PenOp also urged lawmakers to consider increasing pension contributions. This measure is intended to protect workers from old age poverty exacerbated by rising inflation and naira devaluation.

The retreat, themed “The CPS: Navigating Challenges and Unlocking a Secured Future for Pensioners,” featured several key speakers. Mr. Dave Uduanu, a member of PenOp and Managing Director of Access Pensions, emphasized the need for Nigeria to domesticate its economy and reduce reliance on the dollar.

Uduanu stated, “To address devaluation, we must domesticate our economy and reduce our dependency on dollars. Achieving sustainable savings and controlling inflation in real terms is possible through this approach. However, until we accomplish this, investing a portion of the pension funds offshore serves as a safeguard. The recommendation is currently with PenCom and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It would benefit from the support and input of our senators and House of Representatives members to ensure its implementation.”

Mr. Donald Onuoha, Managing Director of Fidelity Pension Managers and a PenOp member, echoed the need for increased pension contributions. He proposed raising the current contribution rate from 18 percent to a higher percentage to combat the effects of inflation on retirees.

Onuoha noted, “We must emphasize the importance of increasing pension contributions beyond the current 18 percent. This is crucial to protecting retirees from the poverty induced by rising inflation.”

In response, members of the National Assembly have requested that pension operators pinpoint specific sections of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 that require amendments. They pledged to thoroughly review the pension law to ensure a more comfortable retirement for Nigerian workers.

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