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HomeBusinessFinance Minister Edun denies plans to raid pension funds for infrastructure

Finance Minister Edun denies plans to raid pension funds for infrastructure

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By Temi Olowu

Finance Minister, Wale Edun, has emphatically denied rumors swirling about the government’s intention to tap into the nation’s N20 trillion pension fund for infrastructure development.

Edun, in a statement released on Thursday, assured Nigerians that the government fully respects the established regulations and legal frameworks governing the pension industry.

He emphasized the government’s commitment to safeguarding the hard-earned savings and retirement security of Nigerian workers.

Earlier reports suggested comments by the Minister hinting at a plan to utilize local funds, including pensions, to finance critical infrastructure projects.

This sparked concerns and prompted both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) to issue a joint statement demanding government assurances that the pension funds would remain untouched.

Edun clarified the situation, stating, “The pension industry, like most financial industries, is highly regulated. There are clear guidelines about what pension funds can and cannot be invested in.”

He stressed the government’s unwavering commitment to operating within these legal boundaries and prioritizing the safety of worker pensions.

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Edun noted an ongoing initiative that involves collaboration with key stakeholders in the long-term savings industry.

The initiative aims to explore, within legal parameters, how these funds can be best leveraged to drive investments in crucial growth sectors.

The Minister further addressed concerns about increased risk or decreased security for pension fund investments.

He denied any such intentions, assuring Nigerians that the government prioritizes the continued stability and security of these vital funds.

The NLC and TUC, however, expressed regret over the lack of transparency in the initial discussions.

They emphasized the critical role of worker representatives, such as themselves, who manage the pension fund contributions.

The unions argued that they were not consulted or informed about the government’s plans, raising concerns about a potential lack of transparency.

While the government scrambles to address these concerns and reassure a wary public, one thing remains clear: the N20 trillion pension fund is a critical safety net for Nigerian workers, and its utilization for purposes outside its intended scope remains a highly controversial topic.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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