Governors Plan to Borrow Trillions From Pension Fund, Pension Board Reacts

The communiqué of the 22nd teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum NGF, signed by its Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, was made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday 4th of December 2020. It reveals that the NGF has endorsed two proposals to borrow the sum of N17tn for infrastructural development.

According to the communiqué, Fayemi noted that the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, had proposed to access N15tn for national infrastructure funding through InfraCredit at a lower interest rate of five per cent.

The governors also made a decision after receiving a briefing from the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, to borrow a total sum of N2tn at nine per cent interest through the National Infrastructure Investment Fund NSIA, totalling N17tn.

The governors agreed to endorse the two proposals for infrastructure development.

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners NUP however is not happy with the decision, saying that the government has no authority over their money and should not tamper with it. The union said most governors do not remit their workers’ pensions to the pensioner’s fund. Saying the governor’s forum is not recognised by the law and so, there will be no one to be held responsible if they refuse or fail the pay back.

He said

We earlier issued a statement warning the Federal Government not to tamper with the pension fund when they mooted that idea. It is the workers’ money; people that would become pensioners tomorrow.

Nobody should tamper with that money; they should look elsewhere for loans to build infrastructure. By the time the people in service would retire in four, five years, the current government would not be there and you won’t know who to hold responsible.

They would be blaming the past government and this would not resolve the issue. The government should not touch that money and the governors have no right to give the approval to borrow from the fund.

The governors have no authority over the money, it doesn’t belong to them; so, how can they approve a proposal to borrow part of the workers’ pensions, which many of them are not contributing to?

Do you know that many of the states are not paying the contributory pension? It shows that they don’t believe in it, so why should they borrow from it? It is not in their power to determine what would happen to that money. No! Their forum is not even recognised by law.

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