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Akwa-Ibom Ready To Invest In Pension Equities – Governor

The Akwa-Ibom Government says it is ready to invest in the pension industry to generate income for the state. Governor Udom Emmanuel stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the on-going World Pension Summit in Abuja on Monday.

He said that the accumulation of 5 trillion naira pension fund in the country could create a lot of investment opportunities for interested investors.

“The main reason for this is with over 5 trillion naira, which is over 25 billion dollars, we have a whole lot of investment opportunity where we are doubly sure the pension fund can actually be invested and they can also realise the money because that is the essence of investment.

“You don’t invest to lose your capital; you invest to actually get adequate return on your investment. “Even in terms of road infrastructure, the economic viability of the roads in the South South (zone) is being linked up by Akwa- Ibom.

“So, we can actually earmark some of these for the investors to come under the PPP (public private partnership) model. “We as a state government will also be interested in taking up some equity.“ The governor said that pensioners in the state were receiving their monthly pension on a regularly.

According to him, the state government has been concentrating on the development of infrastructure in the past few months. “We have concentrated on some of this infrastructures, especially in terms of the human capital development,“ he said. Emmanuel told NAN that the state had the natural resources and the creativity to drive development in all sectors of the economy.

He, however, said that adequate funding was required to develop the infrastructure needed to drive the development process. “You could actually hear when I talked about the three Cs – cash, commodity and creativity.

“In this case we are creative in ideas, policies and in our approach on programmers that we invent. “In terms of commodity, we all know how wealthy we are in terms of the abundant natural resources.

“Cash could be a problem, but who owns the cash? It is either the capital market or the pension fund,“ he said. Emmanuel advocated the setting up of an institution that would ensure proper and accurate remittance of pension contributions.

“Once you set up strong institutions, those things are mere administrative. “We are after building those strong institutions so that processes and procedures can actually run normally.

“So, set up strong institutions and things will happen – policies, procedures and processes will actually run,’’ he said. (NAN)

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