FG eyes N20trn pension fund for infrastructure development

FG eyes N20trn pension fund for infrastructure development

The federal government has announced the plan to tap from locally available funds such as pension and life insurance to develop infrastructure in the country. 

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, disclosed this Tuesday while briefing State House reporters after the two-day meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Bola Tinubu.

He said over N20 trillion of such funds was available in the country, adding that the fund will go into infrastructure such as housing and providing long-term mortgages. 

He said: “Nigeria is resilient, Nigerians are resilient. And the fact is that even before we start looking to foreign investors, we start looking to foreign funding, there is available in Nigeria, long term funds to fund infrastructure projects, and it’s within the pension, life insurance and investment fund industry generally. 

“There is upwards of N20 trillion available, and much of it is in short-term funding that doesn’t need to be. Pension money is long-term. 

“People save over their lifetime for their pension. And so in conversation, in consultation, collaboration and cooperation with the private sector, we are now able to announce and with the full knowledge and support of all parties, that there will be an initiative to fund growth through investment in infrastructure, including housing, provision of mortgages, long term mortgages, 25-year mortgages at relatively low interest rates. 

“Initially, of course, the government will stand back and provide some support, particularly in this era of high interest rates but eventually as interest rates come down, there should be less role for the government through providing, for example, guarantees and so forth. 

“So, we can look forward to these huge funds being leveraged with the expertise, the ability, the capacity of the private sector, partnering with government to drive economic growth.

“On the supply side, construction of houses will be funded. On the demand side, mortgages will be made available so that those constructing houses have an outlet and Nigerians who are saving so much by way of pension funds have the added bonus of access to affordable mortgages.

“That really is the long and short of this initiative and you also as much as anybody else can understand and see what it means in the construction industry to do for the country. 

“That is the plan, that is the target that is the hope. And in this particular case, you have the best and the brightest that Nigeria has to offer, putting their minds together and committing to achieve in the goals.”

Edun spoke against the backdrop of what he said in the context of President Tinubu’s macroeconomic reforms, “which are necessary and could not  be delayed a moment longer.”

The minister said the reforms were beginning to yield the desired results. 

Meanwhile, the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory  (FCT), Hajiya Mariya Mahmud, said FEC has approved the award of a contract for the development of a bus terminal and transportation facilities at a cost of N51,025,172,424.90 in favour of Messers Planet Project Limited. 

The FCT also got approval for the construction of the Appeal Court, Abuja Division at the cost of N7,259,530,881.14 and the upgrading of Kwali-Ibu is at N7.6 billion.  


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