N6.5trn pension funds, safe, secure-PenOp boss

Amidst insinuations in some quarters that the recent change in the leadership of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) may adversely affect the fortunes of the sector, especially the N6.5t pension funds under the custody of the Commission, Mr. Eguarekhide Longe, president of Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has allayed such fears, saying there is no cause for alarm.

PenCom is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making body established to promote the operations of the pension industry, provide for self-regulation and ensure that international best practices relating to the industry are observed by the operators registered in Nigeria.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Nation, Longe who also doubles as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of AIICO Pension Managers Limited, dismissed all such insinuations that things might suddenly get awry on account of the change at PenCom.

According to him, “PenCom has issued a statement. They said there is an acting Director-General to hold forte until the new people come in. So let’s just speak to that. There is no sensation about it.”

Pressed further, he said: “I think that what I can say to you is that the industry is sufficiently institutionalised such that it is insulated from the changes that would always occur on the operator or regulator side. So don’t let us be dramatic about it. Whatever need to happen as far as confirmation or propriety of selection is concerned, will come out from the National Assembly.”

As to whether PenOp feels strongly that the change in leadership at PenCom will not affect the fortunes of the sector, he said such fears were totally unfounded.

“It is not going to affect anything at all. It won’t affect anything at all. The industry is institutionalised, it is stable. The head of helms of affairs of operators or regulators will change, but then the industry is structured. Money goes to custodians and then they report to the regulator. There may be a direction as to should we support the society’s economy more or not? We’ve already worked through all those issues. There are rules about them and we will follow the rules. It is as simple as that. No one person can change that.

“You need to also report that the government has released money to pay the accrued rights of people for over one year so there is continuity,” he submitted.

The post N6.5trn pension funds, safe, secure-PenOp boss appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

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