Atiku Abubakar Opposes Federal Government’s Plan to Use Pension Funds for Infrastructure Projects

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has expressed strong opposition to the Federal Government’s proposal to utilize Nigeria’s pension fund for financing infrastructure projects.

Abubakar condemned the plan in a post on X (formerly Twitter), calling it a misguided initiative that needs to be halted immediately.

On May 14, Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, announced the government’s strategic plan to tap into the N20 trillion pension fund along with other domestic resources to address critical infrastructure needs and drive economic progress.

However, Abubakar warned that this decision could have severe consequences for Nigerian retirees who depend on their hard-earned pension savings. “My attention is drawn to a disturbing disclosure by the finance minister… There is, according to the minister, a move by the federal government to rev up economic growth by unlocking N20 trillion from the nation’s pension funds and other funds to finance critical infrastructure projects across the country,” Abubakar stated.

He criticized the lack of detailed information provided by Edun, particularly regarding the percentage of pension funds to be allocated for these projects.

Abubakar insisted that this initiative must be stopped to prevent potential harm to retirees who rely on their pensions.

“This move must be halted immediately! It is a misguided initiative that could lead to disastrous consequences on the lives of Nigeria’s hardworking men and women who toiled and saved and who now survive on their pensions having retired from service,” he emphasized.

Abubakar highlighted that the Federal Government must adhere to the Pension Reform Act of 2014 (PRA 2014) and the revised Regulation on Investment of Pension Funds Assets issued by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

He stressed that the government must not exceed the regulation which limits infrastructure investments to no more than 5% of total pension fund assets.

Referencing recent data, Abubakar noted, “As of December 2023, total pension fund assets were approximately N18 trillion, of which 75% are investments in FGN Securities. There is NO free Pension Funds that is more than 5% of the total value of the nation’s pension fund for Mr. Edun to fiddle with.”

Abubakar acknowledged the challenges in funding infrastructure development but insisted that the solution lies in implementing necessary reforms to regain investor confidence.

He urged the government to leverage private resources, skills, and technology rather than risking the financial security of Nigerian retirees.

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