As pension assets un- der the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) maintain a sustained growth year-on-year, investment in real estate recorded marginal decline during the first seven months of the year. Although the real estate sec- tor is not a primary attraction for investment of pension funds at its early stage like in the case of Nigeria, the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have, however, continued to play there with utmost caution. Findings by New Telegraph revealed that asset decline in that portfolio started at the beginning of the current year when it dipped from N159.823 billion in January to N158.147 billion in February.
The trend also continued in March when it dipped fur- ther to N156.552 billion before climbing slightly in April to N156.584 billion. It, however, experienced mar- ginal increase, in May and June, peaking at N156.630 billion and N156.884 billion respectivetly. It, however, dropped sharply to N156.084 billion in July, being the current month the regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has released. Further developments as re- vealed by the commission also showed that the pension assets increased by N470 billion with the period, thereby peaking the total assets at N12.78 trillion from N12.31trillion recorded in December 31, 2020.
It was also gathered that 19,000 retirement savings ac – count holders joined the con- tributory pension scheme within the period under review. The fund managers have ploughed more resources into portfolios specifically allowed by the law setting up the scheme where they have also enjoyed more yields.
For instance, the N8.13 tril- lion worth of assets in Federal Government securities as at December 2020, rose to N8.20 trillion by July 2021. In the same vein the value of assets in state government secu- rities has also risen to N89.68 bil- lion as of July 2021 and N2.11 tril- lion for the local money market.
On the progress made so far, Director-General (DG), National Pension Commission- PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, noted that it was pertinent to reassure stakeholders that the implemen – tation of the CPS remained on course, adding that the number of registered contributors under the CPS has continued to grow. She submitted that the maintenance of a consistent growth trajectory continues to justify the commission’s over- riding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pen- sion fund assets.