House of Representatives

Rep. Dennis Amadi (Enugu-PDP) has advised the Federal Government to ensure it has a transparent repayment plan before tapping from the pension fund to fix the country’s decaying infrastructure.

Amadi told the interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday  that there was nothing wrong with borrowing from the fund to fix critical infrastructure in the economy if a proper repayment plan could be guaranteed.

“Instead of the government going for short term borrowing from external sources when we have more than N8 trillion that is idle in the pension’s fund, it is not out of place for government to borrow a certain percentage of that money to fix critical infrastructure.
“The railways; the sea port, our water transport, our airport, the aviation sector.

“Government can actually borrow a percentage of that fund to make sure that these sectors also operate and bring in more money to the economy.’’

It will be recalled that Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun recently told members of the House of Representatives that the Federal Government was cautiously progressing with its planned investment of more than N6 trillion pension funds.

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Adeosun said this when she appeared before the lawmakers as part of their ongoing sectoral debate on diversification of the country’s economy.

On accessing pension funds, the lawmaker said there was need for workers under the contributory pension scheme to get unrestricted access to a minimum of 50 per cent of the credit balance on their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs).

Amadi said that an emerging bill before the National Assembly would ensure that workers had access to the credit irrespective of the age at which they retired or were disengaged.

The extant Act provides that a disengaged employees can only access 25 per cent of the credit on their RSA, while the balance of 75 percent and accruing interest can only be accessed on the attainment of 50 years of age.

This is with an amount expected to be retained to secure a projected lifetime annuity for the person.