Data from National Pension Commission has indicated that the value of Nigerian Pension Funds currently stands at N17.35TN, and worth $ 19.83BN at the rate of 874$.
According to the Data obtained from the National Pension Commission’s website, before the devaluation of the Naira in mid-June, when the Central Bank of Nigeria tried to unify the country exchange rates; the pension funds were valued at N16.76tn in June, and worth $36.17bn in dollar term, using the exchange of 463.38/$. This already signifies a 45% decline in dollar term .
In a memo dated June 14, 2023, which was signed by Director of Financial Markets, Angela Sere-Ejembi, the apex bank, announced the collapse of the segments of the foreign exchange market into the Investors and Exporters window, which was subsequently renamed the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing window.
However, Since the harmonisation, the local currency has been struggling against the dollar, despite the government’s efforts to strengthen it. In an attempt to raise investors’ confidence. The CBN this month began to clear forex backlogs in banks. The harmonisation of the forex rate was a fallout of President Bola Tinubu’s inauguration speech, where he urged the CBN to unify the country’s exchange rate.
The value of the pension funds has also been eroded by the accelerating inflation in the country, which stood at 22.79 per cent in June but has soared to 26.72 per cent in September. Speaking further, the Head of the Corporate Communications Department, PenCom, Abdulqadir Dahiru, said that the devaluation of Nigeria affected not only pension funds but had a wider effect on the economy. He further noted that the commission was going to hedge against the microeconomic headwinds.
“Naira devaluation did not just affect pension funds; it affected everybody, and it is a twin thing. You have inflation and you have devaluation. “So, anybody who has money in the bank can tell you what inflation has done to his money. It reduces the value of the currency because then you need more of that currency to buy the same amount of the goods and services.”
Dahiru, hinted on the advantage is that pension funds are invested in so many instruments. He said “We have what we call fixed-income and variable-income instruments. The variable income instruments are the ones whose prices cannot be determined because every time you go to the market, their prices are determined by the demands and stock. But when you invest in shares, the price you pay for those shares will go up or down depending on market forces.
“With variable income instruments, their return on investment is inflation-adjusted. Because PFAs invest in securities, in alternative investment assets such as infrastructure funds, such as private equity, such as real estate investment trusts, so already you have some inflation-hedging investments within the portfolio,”