The Former President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday attributed the current economic hardship to the state governors’ wasteful lifestyle.
He accused the governors of spending and lavishing federal allocations without planing for the future.
The Former President of Nigeria also cautioned The President, President Muhammadu Buhari over using Nigerian workers’ pension fund which is almost N6 trillion, to make any more investment.
The former president of Nigeria made this statement while delivering a keynote address at this year’s World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ co-hosted by the Netherland – based World Pension Summit Organisation and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in Abuja.
“ I remember when I was the president, I brought up the idea of saving the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the raining days, but the governors resisted it and told me there was no need saving because it was already raining. If it was raining then, what do we have now?”
He explained that the inability to plan for the future has brought untold restriction on the Nigerian economy.
“ I am happy to know that what we put in place over 10 years ago has become so successful with seven million workers already covered and with almost N6 trillion assets. What we should now be discussing is how we can capture more workers and not necessarily what to do with the assets already in stock.
“Pension management innovations should be guided by sustainability. We cannot be too adventurous with the contribution of workers’ funds because when people work all their lives and save for their future, they should not be told stories when they retire at old age and they want their money.”
And on his part, President Buhari who was represented by Head of Service of the Federal Civil Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo Eta, said that the that pension assets is essential for nation building, he also directed the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to upscale its activities to increase the Nigerian pension assets from the current level of N5.8 trillion
“It has been globally acknowledged that pension matters occupy a strategic place not only as a vital component of social security but as a vehicle for nation building. Accordingly, Africa has given considerable attention in the recent past to pensions and related issues largely due to the myriad of challenges encountered in the administration of pensions as well as the economic downturn in many countries on the continent.”
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