Pension fund investment in FG rose by 4.92℅

By Favour Nnabugwu
The pension fund investment in Federal Government securities rose by 4.92 percent from  N9.19trillion as of September 30, 2022 to  N9.64trillion as at December 2022 last year.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom), stated in its Fourth Quarter 2022 report that the increase in the value of investments in FGN Securities was majorly due to additional investments in this asset class during the quarter.
 The report showed that the total value of pension fund assets as at December 31, 2022 was N14.99 trillion, which comprised of N10.72 trillion RSA ‘Active’ Funds I, II III and V; N1.19 trillion RSA Retiree Fund IV; N1.57trillion Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs); and N1.48 trillion Approved Existing Schemes.
Fund VI Active and Retiree Fund amounted to N36.20 billion.
A breakdown of the fund further showed that pension fund assets were mainly invested in Federal Government Securities (FGN), which accounted for 64.33 percent of total assets.
The report read: “The composition of investments in FGN Securities includes FGN Bonds at 95.60 percent; Treasury Bills at 2.06 percent; and Agency Bonds, Sukuk and Green Bonds accounting for 2.34 percent.
Leadway Pensure wins overall performance of PFA in W/A

By Favour Nnabugwu



Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, one of Nigeria’s foremost Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), has been named West Africa’s Most Outstanding PFA Brand of the Decade at the 2023 edition of the West Africa Brands Excellence Awards.

The award organisers recognised the leading PFA for its tenacious and extraordinary accomplishments, efficient service delivery, industry dominance, and customer satisfaction, through innovative and bespoke product portfolio, to its varying customers for over a decade across West Africa.

Speaking on the significant achievement, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, Lanre Idris, stated that the award adds to the potpourri of recognitions received by the brand for its stellar, unparalleled commitment and exceptional delivery of superior financial solutions to its customers.

“This award is a testament to the brand’s DNA and corporate culture hinged on sustained and impeccable service delivery, cutting edge and technology-driven pension solutions targeted at actualising the possibilities for ultimate customer satisfaction.

“Over the years, Leadway Pensure PFA envisioned delivering unrivalled pension services and financial security in retirement beyond the shores of our immediate community. This recognition is a validation that we are progressing in the right direction to steer the course gradually and tenaciously toward African dominance in the pension space. This is an unflinching commitment despite volatile economic realities on the continent and globally. We remain resolute in prioritising operational excellence and generating enviable investment returns for our customers.

“I commend our team for their tenacity, leadership, and excellence in ensuring that our promises to various stakeholders become realities. Riding on the famous assertion that the reward for hard work is more work, I will like to remind the team that this is also a clarion call to not relent but continually push the boundary for phenomenal outcomes”, he added.

Before this recognition, the brand has received multiple awards, such as “Africa’s Most Impactful Pension Fund Administrator of the Year 2022 by Africa Fintech Brands Innovation Awards 2022”, the “Innovative Pension Fund Administrator of the Decade by Marketing Edge Awards, and Summit 2022”, and the “Most Preferred Pension Fund Administrator of the Year 2022 by International Standard Excellence Award.

The West African Brand Excellence Awards are organised yearly by the Institute of Brand Management of Nigeria (IBMN) to recognise businesses’ extraordinary accomplishments in the year under review across the sub-region.

Leadway Pensure P.F.A., an associate company of Leadway Group, is a leading pension administration and fund management company for value-driven aspirational individuals, corporate organisations, and federal and state institutions. Leadway Pensure P.F.A. is built on exceptional expertise and transparency, enabling the organisation to deliver simple, coherent, efficient, and outstanding financial services to clients and stakeholders.

69,889 registered new as RSAs in Q4 2022

By Favour Nnabugwu




A total of 69,889 new Retirement Savings Accounts, RSAs were registered at the quarter ended 31 December 2022, according to National Pension Commission (PenCom)

“A total of 69,889 new RSAs were registered and the associated PINs issued to employees in different sectors, in the quarter ended 31 December 2022,” PenCom stated.

PenCom noted that the breakdown of new registrations into the CPS by age and gender within the quarter showed that out of a total of 69,889 registrations, about 84 per cent or 58,948 of them were below 40 years of age. stressing that out of this number, 31,836 or 45 per cent were below 30 years of age.

PenCom stated that 84 per cent of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) registration in the fourth quarter 2022 are below 40 years, an addication that the younger generation are actively being enlisted into the Contributory Pension scheme (CPS)

PenCom noted that 42,404 or about 61 per cent of those that registered during the quarter were males, thus sustaining dominance over the female gender in terms of registration into the scheme.

In all of these, five PFAs collectively held about 57 per cent of the 69,889 RSAs registered in the quarter under review

PenCom also analyses the distribution of RSA registrations across PFAs in the fourth quarter 2022, revealed that Stanbic IBTC continued to maintain the largest market share of 23 per cent with 16,006 new registrations, followed by ARM Pension Managers (PFA) Limited which had 10 per cent market share with 7,312 new registrations, while Leadway, Sigma and Premium PFAs followed with 9 per cent, 8 per cent 7 per cent market share respectively.

NANS confers Awards on DG PenCom, inducts her into Hall of Fame

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Director-General (DG) of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has received accolade from the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) through her professional service and purposeful leadership in the pension industry was inducted into the Association’s Hall of Fame.

NANS also conferred on Mrs Dahir-Umar the NANS Merit Award for her contributions to national development and support for young people and students.

Speaking during the award ceremony held in Abuja at the weekend, the Senate President of NANS, Comrade Attah Felix Nnalue said NANS Merit Award is presented to individuals whose lives exemplifies the ideas of living for the sake of others and dedicate themselves to national building and service to humanity.

Comrade Nnalue said the induction of Mrs Dahir-Umar into NANS Hall of Fame and the presentation of NANS Merit Award to her were in line with the resolution of the 68th Senate Meeting of NANS held on 25 January 2023 at the University of Abuja.

He Commended the Director General for her hard work, exemplary lifestyle, contribution to nation building and the advancement of the pension industry.

Mrs Dahir-Umar has been part of the journey to reform pension administration and management in Nigeria. Under her leadership as the Director General, PenCom has attained significant milestones in its diligent implementation of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 through the successful conclusion of several critical initiatives.

Pension fund assets have been on a sustained growth trajectory, increasing from N6.15 trillion in 2016 to N14.99 trillion as of December 2022. Similarly, the number of registered pension contributors grew from 7.41 million to 9.86 million over the same period.

The launch of the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2019 was another significant step under her towards the promotion of financial inclusion for self-employed persons and workers in the informal sector. In November 2020, PenCom launched the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS).

The system is an in-house developed computer application that enables a pension contributor or retiree to switch from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another. Activating the RSA transfer provision was another essential milestone she recorded in implementing the CPS that has been on the drawing board since the advent of the Pension Reform in 2004.

She also implemented the maiden Pension Enhancement for CPS retirees in December 2017. This initiative enhanced the monthly pensions of most retirees on the programmed withdrawal based on significant incomes earned from investment.

In 2021, the Director General oversaw the recapitalisation of PFAs. As a result, all PFAs raised their Shareholders’ Funds from N1 billion to N5 billion. In 2022, the Commission issued the Guidelines on Accessing RSA Balance Towards Payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA Holders. This innovative policy will enable workers to own residential houses while in active service.

PFAs plan massive investment in infrastructure this uear

By Favour Nnabugwu
Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs have laid up plans to invest heavily in  infrastructure.
The Chief Executive Officer, Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Oguche Agudah made this known in a webinar, said that PFAs have keyed in to invest in infrastructure.
Agudah said thst 42 per cent of the PFAs indicated that they were actively looking for investments in infrastructure while another 50 per cent said they would also consider investments along that line of business in the current year.
The event, which attracted frontline economists was with the theme: “The Nigerian Economic and an Investment Outlook: A focus on Pension Fund Investment Strategies” and organised by PenOp have mapped out plans to do that.
Oguche, however, said: “Although fund managers are cautious about private equity, they will consider on a deal by deal basis. Twenty five per cent of fund managers polled are actively looking to invest in private equity while 67 per cent say they will consider it.
“Fund managers are looking to invest in impact focused funds but transparency and structure are key.”
Speaking on various dealings in equities and securities, he said there was reduction in engagement with equities in the out gone year from 7.73 per cent in 2021 to 6.79 per cent in 2022.
Government securities as share of portfolio declined by 118 basis points to 65.44 per cent, while there was reduction in interaction with money market securities which declined by 1.92 per cent.
On her part, Chief Economist at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Mrs. Rita Babihuga-Nsanze, outlined a number of steps the incoming government must take to put the economy on the right path, suggesting that oil subsidy policy must be halted.
Nsanze said the incoming government must address security in oil sector corridor, address subsidy regime and enthrone the expected reform in forex market.
She regretted that despite the high high international oil price, it failed to translate into foreign reserves accumulation for Nigeria, adding that the foreign exchange reserves fell by $3.5 billion or eight per cent between January and December 2022.
“The FGN earned no revenues from the sale of crude oil despite the windfall crude oil prices recorded in 2022 owing to the subsidy payments.
Government interest payments as a share of revenue have more than doubled from 19.7 per cent in 2018 to the current 48 per cent.
“Low amortisation requirements for 2023 and 2024 offer Nigeria some breathing space on the external front.
“But given that the majority of Nigeria’s external debt is multilateral based lending (47% of total stock) we do not foresee high levels of debt stress from its Eurobond repayments in the near
“Eurobond markets, however, remain inaccessible to Nigeria for its financing needs given its current sovereign spreads and credit rating.”
She posited that improving current account position provided some relief with respect to near term external financing needs.
The economist, however, cautioned that without the necessary structural reforms, the current forex  liquidity pressure would persist in 2023 and potentially in 2024 on the back of increasing downward pressure on foreign reserves.
Pension funds stand at N14.99trn – PenCom

By Favour Nnabugwu


National Pension Commission, PenCom’s latest ‘Report on pension industry portfolio for the period ended 31 December 2022’ revealed that Pension fund had risen from N13.42 trillion  to N14.99tn by the end of December 2022.

Contributors in the scheme rose slightly by 333,002 from 9,529,127 as of the end of 2021 to 9,862,129 in the corresponding period

According to the figures, N9.64tn or 64.33 per cent of the assets was invested in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities, N1.66tn was invested in corporate debt securities, N1.98tn was invested in money market securities and N82.8bn in mutual funds among other investment portfolios.

In the 2022 third quarter report of the pension industry, the Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said despite the overwhelming head-winds in the global economic climate and the country’s challenging macroeconomic environment, the pension fund assets under management increased.

“This laudable performance, in the growth of the AuM, points to the fact that the pension industry will continue to deliver value and benefit to its stakeholders and the nation’s economy,” she said.

During the period under review, the director-general, said PenCom steadily pursued increased diversification of pension fund portfolios by ramping up efforts aimed at ensuring sustained investment of pension fund in alternative asset classes and structured infrastructure projects that meet the stringent requirements as enshrined in the regulation for the investment of pension fund assets.

She said PenCom’s efforts at diversifying investments of pension funds and hedging against inflation had gradually begun to yield results.

According to her, efforts were on going to ensure that the annualised average rates of return of pension funds across Retirement Savings Account and legacy funds were above headline inflation rates.

She said, “Perhaps, the most significant achievement recorded in the third quarter of 2022 was the successful issuance of guidelines on accessing RSA

“Balance towards payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage. The guidelines give effect to Section 89(2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014, which allows eligible RSA holders to apply a percentage of the balances in their Retirement Savings Accounts for payment of equity contribution towards residential mortgage for employees of the public, private and the informal sectors.”

She stated that the achievement in the Nigerian pension industry could not have been possible without the right people, strategy, culture and governance structures that supported the delivery of consistent and sustained value for all its stakeholders

PenCom approves increase of retirees’ monthly pension from next Month

By Favour Nnabugwu
The National Pension Commission (PenCom has approved the increase of monthly pensions for retirees under the contributory pension scheme (CPS).
PenCom in a statement said this is the third edition of pension enhancement under the CPS which will take effect from next month
However, it urged all eligible retirees to contact their pension fund administrators (PFAS) to complete all required documentation.
“PenCom is pleased to inform the general public that the third edition of pension enhancement under the contributory pension scheme (CPS) has been approved, ” the statement reads.
“The exercise is for existing retirees under programmed withdrawal who have accumulated significant growth in their retirement savings accounts (RSAs).
The effective commencement date of the enhancement is February 2023. All relevant retirees are, by this notice, advised to contact their respective pension fund administrators (PFAS) to complete the required documentation.”
PecCom, therefore, assured all stakeholders of its commitment to the effective regulation, supervision, and administration of pension matters in Nigeria.
Oguche Agudah, Salamotu Isah for 4th African Pension & Retirement Summit in Dubai


L- Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Oguche Agudah and Kaduna State Pension Bureau, Prof. Salamatu Idris Isah



By Favour Nnabugwu




Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria (PENOP), Mr. Oguche Agudah and the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, Mrs Salamatu Idris Isah will join league of speakers at the 4th Annual Africa Pensions & Retirement Fund Summit brings coming up in Dubai in May, 2023.
The 4th Annual Africa Pensions & Retirement Fund Summit brings together pensions and retirement industry leaders, investors, regulators, policy makers, trustees, academics, subject matter specialists, financial services intermediaries under one umbrella for a 4-day specialist-led deep dive into critical issues impacting the pensions industry across the continent to explore opportunities and provide solutions to these challenges.
The summit is theme: Emerging Markets Investment and Retirement tagged ‘The EMIR Forum’ is scheduled to hold at Fairmont Hotel, Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 9th – 12th May, 2023.
Facilitators expected the summit include: Wayne Hiller van Rensburg (Pension Matters (Pty) Ltd), Geraldine Fowler (IRFA President), Jacqueline Irving (World Bank Group), ), Robin Ellison (Pinset Masons), Ngatia Kirungie (Spearhead Africa), Csaba Feher (International Monetary Fund), Mike Brown (Exchange Traded Products), Melis Guven (World Bank Group), Amanda Khoza (IRFA – Vice President), Shaimaa Sabry Mahmoud (Telecom Egypt), Himanshi Jain (World Bank Group), Escher Luanda (GIPF), Dharmesh Dayal (Investment Spectrum), Prof. Dana Muir (Robert L Dixon Collage), Chris Brits (Pensions World SA), Nicolas Firzli (World Pension Forum), Semoli Mokhanoi (Mergence Investment Managers
This is a gathering of the leading pension funds, experts in pension funds, investment and economic policy decision-makers.


Anthonia Smart, wife of Tope Smart is dead

By Favour Nnabugwu




The insurance and Pension may have be thrown into a sober mood with the death of the wife of the 47th president of Africa Insurance Organisation and the 23rd Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, and the Group Managing Director of NEM Insuranc, Mr.Tope Smart.

Dr Anthonia Smart until her death, she was the chairman of Indo State Pension Commission and a past president of Professional Insurance Lady Association, PILA in 2010
Born in 1971  Tonia Smart died at the age of 51. Tonia Smart is a seasoned insurance practitioner and pensions administrator with nearly three decades of work experience and currently the Managing Director / CEO of YorkCity Consult Limited.
She holds the Fellowship status of both the insurance and pension institutes in Nigeria and a doctorate degree from the USA with an MBA (Management) and M.Sc and B.Sc in Chemistry.
She is a director of Direktwire Ltd. (UK) which is an International Money Transfer
Operator. She is also a director of three companies into Property & Investments in Nigeria as well as an Agric Investor.
Tonia is an Executive Member of the Commonwealth Business Women Network Nigeria and currently the Head of Programs. She is a Member of the Board of Trustees of Uplifting Women Through Farming.
She has worked as an insurer and pension for close to three decades with work experience in insurance broking, life insurance, pension administration and pension regulator having worked for Hogg Robinson Nigeria, Capital Express Insurance, NLPC Pension Fund Administrators and Lagos State Pension Commission.
She holds the Fellowship status of both the insurance and pension institutes in Nigeria as well as a doctorate from Evangel University in the USA, an MBA from the University of Nigeria, and an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Lagos.
Tonia has delivered several papers on varied topics at conferences and seminars on insurance, pension administration and human capital development and has packaged trainings both locally and internationally for several organisations.
She is the author of the book The Contributory Pension Scheme and its Administration including Death Benefits payment, Trusts and Wills, which was published in 2012. The book has received praise from employers, employees and various states in Nigeria.
On her achievements, she has been rewarded with various awards notably from the Lagos State Government, Professional Insurance Ladies Association and Nigeria Junior Chamber.
 and was a Senator & Ambassador of the Nigeria Junior Chamber and JCI. Tonia is also an Associate of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) and a Member of the prestigious Ikoyi Club 1938
PenCom rated top among CBN, NDLEA, DSS – CCSN

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria (CCSN) has identified the National Pension Commission (PenCom) as one of the top performing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria.

The CCSN who rated PenCom among top performing MDAs like the Department of State Services (DSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In a letter was signed by the CCSN’s Chairperson, Comrade Adams Otakwu, and two other members of the coalition, John Ogar and Acheme Arumona said PenCom “has become synonymous with positive, transparent and goal-oriented pension administration in Nigeria,” the letter intimated President Buhari.

The CCSN, which is a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) crusading for good governance and transparency, said PenCom “stands out as one of the most ambitious financial inclusion programmes targeted at the Civil Society and the informal sector of any developing economy in the world.”

The CSOs disclosed this in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari dated 19 December 2022.

The coalition observed that PenCom embodies “a welcome departure from the humongous corruption and inhumane treatment of our pensioners, that was the stock in trade prior to the current dispensation.”

The letter stated that PenCom, since 2019, has recorded phenomenal reforms of global reference.

“These include the extraordinary rise of pension assets and Retirement Savings Accounts, enhanced contributory registration system, payment of outstanding pension liabilities, recovery of outstanding pension contributions, increase in Minimum Share Capital for Pension Fund Administrators, and effective implementation of the Micro Pension Plan, which coopted the Civil Society into the pension scheme and has greatly enhanced our productivity and well-bring.”