Nigerian pension assets have hit all-time high of N5.3 trillion at the end of December 2015, according to Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Director-General, National Pension Commission [PenCom].

She said the sum of N20 billion was outstanding in 2015 in respect of retired workers in the federal civil service.

The PenCom DG said the commission requested for N91 billion to settle pension liabilities of such federal pensioners in 2016, but the 2016 budget made provision for only N50 billion, leaving a deficit of N41 billion.

“Truth is that the funds are not there to pay all the retirees at the same time. We have competing demands for increasingly dwindling resources at the disposal of the Federal government due to falling oil prices in the international market. However, the federal Government can take out a loan for the purpose and adequate funding made possible going forward. We are in talks with all arms of government to sort out the issue.”

On micro-pension which the commission is actively canvassing, she said the objective is to bring in about 60 per cent of the population who are mainly in the informal sector of the economy, like artisans, barbers, mechanics etc into the new pension scheme.

“The bulk of Nigerians reside within this segment, meaning that those in private practice deserve pension cover to take care of themselves when they are no longer able to work.”

Amazu assured concerned stakeholders that pension funds will not be lost in infrastructure investment as the commission will adhere strictly to the enabling laws governing such investments.