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Pension fund administrators pile up cash in anticipation of withdrawals

Pension fund administrators pile up cash in anticipation of withdrawals



Nigerian Pension Fund

Data from the National Pension Commission of Nigeria, PenCom, shows that the asset value of pension funds in Nigeria witnessed a growth of 3.27% in the second quarter of 2019. The total asset value of Nigeria’s pension fund administrators, which stood at N9.03 trillion as at the end of the first quarter, increased to N9.325 trillion by the end of June 2019, according to data from PenCom.

Analysis of the said data carried out by analysts at Quantitative Financial Analytics indicates that pension fund administrators together had about N578 billion in contributions and N283 billion in redemptions, leaving it with a net increase of about N296 billion to bring its Q2 total asset value to N9.325 trillion.

Asset Reallocation

The same analysis shows that there might have been some sort of divestment or asset rebalancing that took place among the various asset classes that the administrators invest in. The asset class that got affected most, on the negative side, is investment in foreign money market securities which fell by a whopping 92% from its Q1 balance of N22.5 billion to N1.8 billion by June ending.

[READ MORE: Federal Government increases borrowing from Pension Funds]



Pension fund managers tend to be falling out of love with mutual funds as their investments in open/closed end funds fell by 13%, from N10.6 billion (March 2019) to N9.3 billion as at the end of Q2. Other asset classes that suffered allocation shrinkage include:

FGN Bonds, which fell by 0.45%, or about N20 billion,

Infrastructure funds, by 0.77%,

Agency Bonds, 1.16%,

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Private Equity funds, 2.48%,

Sukuk bonds, 8.51%,

Domestic ordinary shares, 9.8%, and

State Government bonds, 10.19%

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The rebalancing or asset reallocation notwithstanding, the overall asset allocation structure of the industry still remains intact with 47.6% of assets in FGN Bonds (N4.4 trillion), and 20.8% or N1.94 trillion in Treasury Bills.

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Cash Pile Up

Our analysis indicates that most of the realizations from the “divested” or shrunk asset classes are being kept in cash. Cash and other assets, as an asset class, grew by 751% in Q2, from N25 billion in Q1 to N214 billion, in Q2. This is the highest cash position by pension fund administrators since Quantitative Financial Analytics began monitoring and analyzing pension assets in Nigeria, over 5 years ago.

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A deeper analysis indicates that the stashing away of cash occurred across almost all pension fund categories. While CPFAs increased their cash holding by 491%, from N661 million to N3.9 billion, Retirement Savings Account, RSA Fund 2, increased its cash balance by 1598% from N7.3 billion to N124.5 billion. In the same way, Retirement Savings Account, RSA Fund 3, saw its cash balance increased by 3686% from N1.8 billion to N70 billion, but Retiree Savings Account, Fund 4, had an increased cash balance of 225% from N4.2 billion to N13.8 billion.

It does appear, therefore, that all the pension fund categories, except Fund 1, stockpiled cash in the second quarter of the year. The stockpiling of cash could be in anticipation of withdrawals by retirees and other stakeholders. It could as well be a strategy to wait for profitable investment opportunities that may crop up, as they usually do, every now and then.

Another reason for the perceived cash accumulation maybe because of failing yield that is being witnessed in the Nigerian economy which is decreasing the allure of bonds and treasury bills. Whatever the reason for accumulating cash by the pension fund managers, it does look like they are beginning to demonstrate that “cash is king.”

[READ MORE: OPay secures $50 million capital raise from Chinese investors]

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Buhari reappoints Bala Usman as MD of NPA, reconstitutes the Board

President Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as the MD of the NPA for another term of 5 years.



NPA discovers new method Apapa businessmen use to avoid port duties

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for another term of 5 years.

This follows the expected expiration of the tenure of Usman, who was first appointed as the Managing Director on July 12, 2016.

This disclosure is contained in a series of tweet posts which was issued by the Presidency on its official Twitter handle on Thursday. January 21, 2021.

READ: COVID-19: NPA, NCDC disagree over new cases in Lagos

The Presidency in its statement also announced the approval of the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (representing South-West zone) as Chairman.


The statement from the Presidency partly reads, ‘’President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for an additional five-year tenure.

‘’Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Adesoye (from South-west zone) as Chairman.’’

READ: Nigerian Aviation: Exchange rate, 7.5% VAT suspension and other factors to determine survival – Experts

Other members of the reconstituted Board include Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (representing South-east zone), Akinwunmi Ricketts (representing South-south zone), Ghazali Mijinyawa (representing North-East zone), Mustapha Dutse (representing North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (representing North-Central zone).

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READ: Haulage cost increases by more than 50% in a week as Apapa gridlock bites harder

What you should know

  • Hadiza Bala Usman was born on January 2, 1976, in Zaria, Kaduna State and has a B.Sc. Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and a Post Graduate in Development Studies from University of Leeds, the UK in 2009.
  • She worked at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) from July 2000 to August 2004 as Enterprise Officer and hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) from October 2004 to January 2008 as Special Assistant to the Minister on Project Implementation.
  • Ms Bala Usman worked, between 2011 and 2015) as Director of Strategy of the Good Governance Group, a non-governmental organisation founded by Kaduna State State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his friends.
  • Ms Bala Usman, one of the founders and conveners of #BringBackOurGirls, a campaign group pushing for the rescue of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, was also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Anti-Corruption.
  • Prior to her appointment as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, she was the Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir  El-Rufai of Kaduna, apposition she was appointed to in 2015.

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Covid-19: Africa records higher death rate than the global rate

Africa’s coronavirus death rate is now higher than the global average according to Africa CDC.



Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

Africa’s coronavirus death rate has been reported to be higher than the global average as the continent struggle with a shortage of oxygen and other resources during this second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The continent’s fatality rate currently stands at 2.5%, which is higher than the global rate of 2.2%, a departure from earlier in the pandemic, when the death rate in Africa was lower than that at the global level.

READ: African Union secures 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from drugmakers

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong, on Thursday, January 21, 2021, during a press conference.

While describing the trend as alarming experts, the continent’s CDC boss pointed out that earlier in the pandemic, Africa’s death rate had been below the global average.


READ: FG alerts that Nigerian hospitals are running out of facilities as Covid-19 spreads fast

He said, “The case fatality rate is beginning to be very worrying and concerning for all of us.’’

Nkengasong also said that 21 African countries are now recording Covid-19 death rate of above 3% as the number of countries in the continent with a higher fatality rate than the global average continues to grow.

Some of the countries include Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and a host of others.

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READ: Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism

What you should know

  • Africa has so far recorded 3.3 million cases of the coronavirus infections with 82,000 fatalities as at Thursday.
  • These figures represent a small fraction of the global total, but cases have been reported to have increased by 14% each week in the last 1 month.
  • According to data from Africa CDC, over the past week, cases decreased by nearly 7% compared to the previous week while deaths increased by 10%.
  • The continent reported 207,000 new cases in the past week, with South Africa alone reporting 100,000 of those new cases.

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Ex-Real Madrid Striker, David Barral becomes first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin

Former Real Madrid Striker, David Barral has become the first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin.



Former Real Madrid striker, David Barral, makes transfer history as he became the first-ever professional player to be bought solely with virtual currency, Bitcoin.

Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, simply known as Inter Madrid, has officially signed the 37-year-old after teaming up with their new sponsors, Criptan that deals in cryptocurrency, The SUN reports.

Inter Madrid who are part of DUX gaming, eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Real Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois, is yet to disclose the total value of the deal.

READ: Football: AC Milan announces loss of €195million

The Segunda Division B club went to Twitter to welcome their new signing and thank their sponsor.


“David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club! He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible,” the club tweeted.

The 37-year-old, who made over 50 appearances playing in the Real Madrid reserve side, expressed his delight at his latest move. Barral has also played for Spanish La Liga clubs Sporting Gijon, Levante, and Racing Santander.

“Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

READ: Real Madrid leapfrogs others to emerge the world’s most valuable football club

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What you should know

  • A similar deal was when a Harunustaspor, Turkish amateur side, paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) for Omer Faruk Kıroğlu in 2018.
  • Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin.
  • Similarly, the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks became the second NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for both game tickets and merchandise.

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