Connect with us


Pension Assets Hit N7.8tn, FG to Clear Outstanding Obligations



The Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Ms
  • Pension Assets Hit N7.8tn, FG to Clear Outstanding Obligations

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has put the net asset value of the contributory pension scheme (CPS) at N7.779 trillion as of February 28, just as it said that N54 billion released by the federal government last year would boost efforts aimed at clearing outstanding pension liabilities, especially the accrued rights of retiring government employees for 2017 and 2018.

The acting Director General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, who disclosed this at a workshop organised by the commission for journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the commission had in the past one year recorded a significant increase both in assets and the number of registered contributors.

Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the commission’s Secretary and Legal Adviser, Mohammed Sani, said in terms of assets growth within the period, the commission recorded an additional N270 billion in net assets from N7.52 trillion in December 2017 to N7.779 trillion by the end of February.

According to her, the number of pension contributors under the scheme also increased by 390,000 from 7.50 million in March 2017 to 7.89 million contributors as of December 2017 and 7.90 million last February.

She attributed the growth in both assets and number of contributors to new contributions received by the various Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and the interest/coupon rates from fixed income securities and net realised/unrealised gains on equities and mutual/fund investments.

She spoke on efforts being made by the commission to ensure further growth saying: “The commission is intensifying efforts at ensuring the provision of the necessary infrastructure for the launch of the micro-pension scheme, in line with its strategic objective of expanding coverage of the CPS to the underserved sectors.

“This is a major kernel of the strategy for expanding coverage of the contributory pension scheme.”

She assured her audience that the guidelines for the micro pension scheme were being finalised, preparatory to the commencement of the scheme.

Also speaking on the multi-fund structure recently introduced by the commission, Head of the Investment Supervision Department of the commission, Ibrahim Kangiwa, said after the regulations on investment of pension fund assets were amended and released to pension fund operators on April 18, 2017, the new regulations took immediate effect, except the implementation of multi-fund structure for RSA funds.

According to him, this was delayed to allow adequate public sensitisation on the issue.

He highlighted the objectives of the multi-fund structure as enabling better matching of pension assets and liabilities, and the diversification of pension fund portfolios as minimum limit assets for aggregate investment in variable income securities.

The multi-fund structure is aimed at encouraging PFAs to take on more risks in their investment activities.

Following the huge losses incurred during the stock market crash in 2008-9, PFAs in the country became risk averse, preferring instead to invest the bulk of retirement savings in government securities.

Under the multi-fund structure, retirement savings will be deployed in a scheme comprising four baskets of investible funds, according to the age bracket of the pension contributor.

Under the scheme, young savers will be tagged under fund one, the middle-aged savers, tagged fund two, elderly savers, tagged fund three, and the retired saver tagged fund four.

With this, the PFAs will be able to deploy contributions depending on the age of the contributors such that young savers’ funds could be invested in assets classes more aggressively, relative to other fund types, and will target riskier assets with potentially higher returns.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading


South Africa’s Inflation Rate Holds Steady in May



South Africa's economy - Investors King

South Africa’s inflation rate remained unchanged in May, increasing the likelihood that the central bank will maintain current borrowing costs.

According to a statement released by Statistics South Africa on Wednesday, consumer prices rose by 5.2% year-on-year, the same rate as in April.

The consistent inflation rate is expected to influence the decision of the six-member monetary policy committee (MPC), which is set to meet in mid-July. The current benchmark rate stands at 8.25%, a 15-year high, and has been held steady for six consecutive meetings.

Central Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago has repeatedly emphasized the need for inflation to fall firmly within the 3% to 6% target range before considering any reduction in borrowing costs.

“We will continue to deliver on our mandate, irrespective of how our post-election politics plays out,” Kganyago stated earlier this month in Soweto. “The only impact is what kind of policies any coalition will propose. If the policies are not sustainable, we might not have investment.”

While money markets are assigning a slim chance of a 25-basis point rate cut in July, they are fully pricing in a reduction by November.

Bloomberg Africa economist Yvonne Mhango anticipates the rate-cutting cycle to begin in the fourth quarter, supported by a sharp drop in gasoline prices in June and a rally in the rand.

The rand has appreciated more than 3% since Friday, following the ANC’s agreement to a power-sharing deal with business-friendly opposition parties and the re-election of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In May, the annual inflation rates for four of the twelve product groups remained stable, including food and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, transport, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and recreation and culture saw higher rates. Food prices increased by 4.3% in May, slightly down from 4.4% in April, while transport costs rose by 6.3%, up from 5.7% and marking the highest rate for this category since October 2023.

The central bank’s cautious stance on monetary policy reflects its ongoing concerns about inflation.

Governor Kganyago has consistently voiced worries that the inflation rate is not decreasing as quickly as desired. The MPC’s upcoming decision will hinge on sustained inflationary pressures and the need to balance economic stability with fostering growth.

As South Africa navigates its economic challenges, the steady inflation rate in May provides a measure of predictability for policymakers and investors alike.

Continue Reading


Ghana Reports Strong 4.7% GDP Growth in First Quarter of 2024



Ghana one cedi - Investors King

Ghana’s economy showed impressive growth in the first quarter of 2024 with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanding by 4.7% compared to the same period last year, according to Government Statistician Samuel Kobina Annim.

This represents an increase from the 3.8% growth recorded in the previous quarter and should provide a much-needed boost to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the nation approaches the presidential elections scheduled for December 7.

The positive economic data comes amidst a challenging backdrop of fiscal consolidation efforts under a $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue program.

The government has been working to control debt through reduced spending and restructuring nearly all of its $44 billion debt.

This includes ongoing negotiations with private creditors to reorganize $13 billion worth of bonds.

The latest GDP figures are seen as a vindication of the NPP’s economic policies, which have been under fire from the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The opposition has criticized the government’s handling of the economy, particularly its fiscal policies and the terms of the IMF program, arguing that they have imposed undue hardship on ordinary Ghanaians.

However, the 4.7% growth rate suggests that the measures taken to stabilize the economy are beginning to yield positive results.

Analysts believe that the stronger-than-expected economic performance will bolster the NPP’s position as the country gears up for the presidential elections.

“The growth we are seeing is a testament to the resilience of the Ghanaian economy and the effectiveness of the government’s policies,” Annim stated at a press briefing in Accra. “Despite the constraints imposed by the debt restructuring and IMF program, we are seeing significant progress.”

The IMF program, which is designed to restore macroeconomic stability, has necessitated tough fiscal adjustments.

These include cutting government expenditure and implementing structural reforms aimed at boosting economic efficiency and growth.

The government’s commitment to these reforms has been crucial in securing the confidence of international lenders and investors.

In addition to the IMF support, the government has also been focused on diversifying the economy, reducing its reliance on commodities, and fostering sectors such as manufacturing, services, and technology.

These efforts have contributed to the robust growth figures reported for the first quarter.

Economic growth in Ghana has been uneven in recent years, with periods of rapid expansion often followed by slowdowns.

The current administration has emphasized sustainable and inclusive growth, seeking to ensure that the benefits of economic progress are widely shared across all segments of the population.

The next few months will be critical as the government continues its efforts to stabilize the economy while preparing for the upcoming elections.

The positive GDP growth figures provide a strong foundation, but challenges remain, including managing inflation, creating jobs, and ensuring the stability of the financial sector.

Continue Reading


World Bank Commits Over $15 Billion to Support Nigeria’s Economic Reforms



world bank - Investors King

The World Bank has pledged over $15 billion in technical advisory and financial support to help the country achieve sustainable economic prosperity.

This commitment, announced in a feature article titled “Turning The Corner: Nigeria’s Ongoing Path of Economic Reforms,” underscores the international lender’s confidence in Nigeria’s recent bold reforms aimed at stabilizing and growing its economy.

The World Bank’s support will be channeled into key sectors such as reliable power and clean energy, girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation and resilience, water and sanitation, and governance reforms.

The bank lauded Nigeria’s government for its courageous steps in implementing much-needed reforms, highlighting the unification of multiple official exchange rates, which has led to a market-determined official rate, and the phasing out of the costly gasoline subsidy.

“These reforms are crucial for Nigeria’s long-term economic health,” the World Bank stated. “The supply of foreign exchange has improved, benefiting businesses and consumers, while the gap between official and parallel market exchange rates has narrowed, enhancing transparency and curbing corrupt practices.”

The removal of the gasoline subsidy, which had cost the country over 8.6 trillion naira (US$22.2 billion) from 2019 to 2022, was particularly noted for its potential to redirect fiscal resources toward more impactful public investments.

The World Bank pointed out that the subsidy primarily benefited wealthier consumers and fostered black market activities, rather than aiding the poor.

The bank’s article emphasized that Nigeria is at a turning point, with macro-fiscal reforms expected to channel more resources into sectors critical for improving citizens’ lives.

The World Bank’s support is designed to sustain these reforms and expand social protection for the poor and vulnerable, aiming to put the economy back on a sustainable growth path.

In addition to this substantial support, the World Bank recently approved a $2.25 billion loan to Nigeria at a one percent interest rate to finance further fiscal reforms.

This includes $1.5 billion for the Nigeria Reforms for Economic Stabilization to Enable Transformation (RESET) Development Policy Financing, and $750 million for the NG Accelerating Resource Mobilization Reforms Programme-for-Results (ARMOR).

“The future can be bright, and Nigeria can rise and serve as an example for the region on how macro-fiscal and governance reforms, along with continued investments in public goods, can accelerate growth and improve the lives of its citizens,” the World Bank concluded.

With this robust backing from the World Bank, Nigeria is well-positioned to tackle its economic challenges and embark on a path to sustained prosperity and development.

Continue Reading