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JUST IN: Atiku criticizes Tinubu govt’s plan to utilize pension funds for infrastructure projects

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has voiced strong opposition to the Federal Government’s proposal to unlock N20 trillion from the nation’s pension funds and other sources for critical infrastructure projects.

Atiku was reacting to recent remarks made by Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Edun had said the Bola Tinubu-led government will unlock N20 trillion from the nation’s pension funds and other funds to finance critical infrastructure projects across the country.

According to Atiku, the lack of transparency surrounding the initiative is alarming, adding that specific details regarding the utilization of pension funds, such as the percentage to be withdrawn, were not disclosed.

He said: “He (Edun) provided no useful details, such as the percentage of the funds to be mopped up from the Pension Funds, for example. Even at that, 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.

“It is another attempt to perpetrate illegality by the Federal Government. The government must be cautioned to act strictly within the provisions of the Pension Reform Act of 2014 (PRA 2014), along with the revised Regulation on Investment of Pension Assets issued by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

“In particular, the Federal Government must not act contrary to the provisions of the extant Regulation on investment limits to wit: Pension Funds can invest no more than 5% of total pension funds’ assets in infrastructure investments.

“I note that as of December 2023, total pension funds assets were approximately N18 Trillion, of which 75% of these 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. There are no easy ways for Mr. Edun to address the challenges of funding infrastructure development in Nigeria. He can’t cut corners.

“He must introduce the necessary reforms to restore investor confidence in the Nigerian economy and to leverage private resources, skills, and technology.”

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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