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NNPC to invest N100billion unharnessed land in real estate

Plans are underway by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to invest its over N100 billion worth of unharnessed landed property across the country in the real estate sector.

The feasibility of the plan would largely rely on the ability of the group to recover the assets across the country. It would also be a major shift from its initial lease administration of collecting rents from tenants occupying its property.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ventures, Babatunde Adeniran, who disclosed this at the maiden edition of NNPC Properties Ltd (NPL), Festival in Abuja, said the plan would be honed through commercial opportunities adding that the company has already commenced the recovery of the corporation’s landed properties.

According to him, NNPC Properties Ltd had shifted from the initial lease administration of collecting rents from tenants of the NNPC Properties to “exploring all commercial opportunities available in the real estate market to efficiently position itself as one of the key players of repute that fits the NNPC brand”.

He added, “the current aggressive commercial drive by the NPL is yielding results as the company had recovered a number of the corporation’s landed property which had been lying idle across the country.

He listed some of the recovered property to include: a 92-hectre parcel of land on Chevron Drive, Lekki, Lagos; Royal Grove Estate, Port-Harcourt, and others in Abuja and Kaduna.

NNPC staff.
He lauded the subsidiary for developing the Third Party Home Ownership Scheme for staff with competitive interest rates from reliable banks and affordable deals from credible developers.

Managing Director of the NNPC Properties Ltd, Danny Sokari-George stated that the company was determined to deliver quality and affordable houses with the best funding options and cautioned staff member against frivolous spending to be able to acquire house with ease.

George said he was committed to turning the NPL into a revenue generating Strategic Business Unit (SBU) of the NNPC.

Also speaking at the event, officials of Access Bank and Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank assured staff of friendly packages with low interest rates for property acquisition.

Originally published in The Guardian

Top 3 most expensive neighborhoods in Nigeria

All men are created equal but not all neighborhoods. Although there may be no such thing as a perfect neighborhood, some are actually very close to perfect. Stellar views, proximity to top shopping and dining, class, lifestyle match, low crime rate, walkability and so much more. These factors are the wings on which the price of properties in such neighborhoods soar.

With the average Nigerian’s eyes on the goal of home ownership and perhaps luxury, below are the top 3 most expensive neighborhoods in Nigeria.

Banana Island

Topping this list is Banana Island in Lagos state. Often called the Billionaire’s Haven, Banana Island is a man-made island, slightly curved in shape, like a banana, hence its name.  It is located in the Lagos Lagoon and is connected to Ikoyi Island by a dedicated road which is linked to the existing road network near Parkview Estate.

The island was constructed by the Lebanese-Nigerian Chagoury Group in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and is considered to be on par with the Seventh Arrondissement in Paris, La Jolla in San Diego, and Tokyo’s Shibuya and Roppongi neighborhoods.

It is home to successful business moguls, politicians and celebrities.  Banana Island is Nigeria’s most extravagant and expensive neighborhood and a plot of land can be sold for as high as N500, 000,000.00 (Five hundred million naira only) or more. A 3-bedroom flat can be rented for as high as N15, 000,000.00 (Fifteen million naira only) per annum while a 4-bedroom terraced duplex can be rented for as high as N22, 000,000.00 (twenty two million naira only) per annum. Banana Island’s luxury and magnificence is indeed unrivalled.


Asokoro District

The second neighborhood on our list is Asokoro in Abuja. The highbrow and very secure area is one of the major districts in Abuja. The district is home to most past and serving ministers, top government officials and politicians.

Properties are very expensive. A plot of land can be sold for as high as N400, 000,000.00 (four hundred million naira only) or more depending on size, title etc. The average price of houses for sale in Asokoro District is 300,000,000.00 (Three hundred million naira) and can be as high as 800,000,000.00 (Eight hundred million naira).

Landmarks in Asokoro include Aso Rock, Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Secretariat, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), World Heath Organization (WHO) Office, Asokoro shopping Mall and ECOWAS Park.

Maitama District

Maitama is also one of the major districts of Abuja and home to most embassies and high commissions. It is an exclusive and expensive area where the rich and top politicians live.

Landmarks in Maitama include: Transcorp Hilton Hotel, British Council, Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, National University Commission, NUC etc. Land in Maitama ranges from N50, 000,000.00 (Fifty million Naira) to N500, 000,000.00 (Five hundred million naira), while 3 bedroom flats are rented from N7, 000,000.00 (Seven million naira) to N15,000,000.00 (Fifteen million naira) per annum.

Worthy Mentions

Lekki Phase 1, Lagos

GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt

Omole Phase 1, Lagos

Magodo GRA, Lagos

Jabi, Abuja

Alalubosa G.R.A. in Ibadan (Oyo State)



Photo credits

Afriland Properties Plc to Complete Raymond House Renovation in first Quarter of 2018

As part of efforts to enhance our commercial real estate portfolio, we acquired the decrepit commercial building, Raymond House, at 97/105, Broad Street, Lagos State, over a year ago.

18 months down the line, we are about to turn it into a world class open space office. The fully serviced open plan office space is situated within a purpose built 8-floor Office complex with the following services:

Facilities/Services to be provided

Dedicated PHCN Transformer.

500KVA backup Generators (4)

Centralized Air Conditioning System

3 Elevators

Constant Water supply

24hrs Security

For more enquiries: Call 08038335722, 08033199436, 08033634460 0r 01-6310480-1

Before                                                                        After


Global commercial real estate investment to dip this year

Global real estate consultant JLL, has said that property investors worldwide continued to demonstrate their confidence in global real estate markets throughout 2017, with investment in the final quarter hitting its highest level in three years.

According to the firm, despite continued political concerns, real estate markets mirrored the global economic recovery with Q4 2017 volumes coming in at $228bn, bringing full-year activity to $698bn, six per cent higher than 2016.

Both EMEA and APAC recorded a strong full-year performance, jumping 22 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, while the Americas saw volumes dip by 12 per cent as investment in the US continues to slip.

World Property Journal reports that although JLL acknowledged the market to be in an extended cycle, investor appetite for the sector has remained consistent. But JLL also reports the market is unlikely to see the same highs in 2018 as a relative lack of product combined with continued discipline are likely to cause the market to soften by five to 10 percent and finish around $650bn.

Originally published in The Punch

MD/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, Uzo Oshogwe, Advocates Collaboration at the Economic and Real Estate Outlook Series 2018

The 5th edition of the Economic and Real Estate Outlook series organized by Fine & Country in collaboration with Business Day and Lagos Business School, recently took place at the Lagos Business School. The programme themed Navigating Change, served as a platform to set the tone for the year in the real estate Industry, while deliberating on the impact of the current economic and political climate on the Industry.

During one of the panels, MD/CEO, Afriland properties plc, Uzo Oshogwe, harped on the need for an urgent collaboration and intervention of real estate professionals to examine and propose a review of some government policies in order to create a conducive environment for the industry to thrive. ‘Government policies impact businesses directly or indirectly and the more unfavorable they are, the more businesses struggle to survive. We as professionals must make a conscious effort to take the lead in the appeal for a business-friendly environment’.

She also referred to the newly passed bill on land Use Charge by the Lagos State House of Assembly, awaiting the governor’s assent, as a development that could further deepen the challenges that exist in the sector.

Also present at the event were Mr Hakeem Ogunniran, MD/CEO, UACN Property Development Company, Mr. Ben Akaneme, MD, Imperial Homes, Mr. Adeleye Adeniyi, Head, Real Estate Finance (West Africa), Standard Bank Group, Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Senior Lecturer, Lagos Business School, Mr. Andrea Geday, MD, Elelan Construction and other leading experts in the real estate industry.



CBN enlists 34 mortgage banks, others for ‘My Own Home’ scheme

Following plans to introduce a public private partnership scheme that seeks to increase access to housing finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has selected 34 primary mortgage banks and four commercial banks to stimulate housing finance for low-income earners in the formal and informal sectors.

The banks will join nine other micro finance banks in the ‘My Own Home’ scheme, which is an offshoot of the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) set up by the Federal Government and implemented by CBN with the support of World Bank’s $300 million loan.The objective of NHFP is to catalyse the growth of the housing sector through de-risking the housing finance value chain and improving access to finance. Its objective is increase access to housing finance and housing in Nigeria and to inspire young Nigerians on the need to key into mortgage process and start owning homes.

Essentially, the banks will benefit from US$15 million Housing Micro-finance Fund and $10million Technical Assistance Fund, with LAPO Microfinance Bank as pivot of the pilot scheme in the housing sector. Unlike the conventional mortgage, the scheme allows beneficiaries to use the loan for purchase of land, incremental building or renovation.

The scheme has broad-based stakeholders and partnerships that include; the Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, World Bank, Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing, Federal Ministry of Justice and Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN).Others are mortgage originating institutions such as Mortgage Lending Banks (MLBs) that are participating in the scheme through equity/investment in Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC).

NHFP is creating the enabling environment for strengthening the nation’s housing sector by setting up sustainable framework by mortgage originators such as financial institutions to access long-term refinancing. The new scheme is also expected to scale-up mortgage and housing finance awareness through mortgage literacy, customers’ right, responsibilities and education.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos, MBAN President, Mr. Adeniyi Akinlusi explained that the scheme would revamp the housing finance sector and also make access to housing finance a lot easier. He said that Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) would be providing long-term refinancing of mortgages and standardizing mortgage procedures.

According to him, most initiatives that are solely funded and run by the government as Social housing programmes were usually not successful and are usually not sustainable. “My own Homes’ being a PPP is highly likely to succeed going by our experience with other PPP programs such as NMRC, Infrastructure provision and even the Pension Scheme Reform, which also had the private sector stakeholders.”

For instance, he said that the scheme offers mortgage guarantee that allows borrowers with insufficient or no equity contribution (initial down payment) can access mortgage for home ownership.Besides, it would stimulate increased lending to low-income earners in the formal and informal sectors in Nigeria through microfinance Banks for incremental housing construction or housing improvement.

Akinlusi noted that despite the challenges of the initiative, public awareness is gradually being created, although there is no available statistic on the extent of coverage yet, adding that more would still need to be done along this regard.He stated that the scheme holds the interest of every Nigerian.“However, being a new initiative, there is still no statistics to quantify the response of Nigerians to it. And it will require some time to take firm root and have imprint on the minds of the public,” he said.

On the availability of funds, funding and sustaining the scheme, MBAN president, said that it would depend on the NHFP and how it could synchronize the scheme to generate public interest that would make it run on “auto-pilot.”The Guardian gathered that the mortgage guarantee and insurance product would provide a platform for potential mortgage clients who do not have the required equity contribution- initial down payment of 20 per cent of the value of a property- for a mortgage but have the capacity to make the regular payments, to access a mortgage on the basis of a third party guarantee.

Intending homeowners with insufficient or no equity contribution can approach their lenders for a mortgage guarantee. The mortgage guarantee firm will insure only the equity contribution required so that the lender can advance the full value of the mortgage loan for the property.On the unfavourable investment climate affecting the industry, he listed high (and sometimes erratic) exchange rate, traditionally stringent operational guidelines for mortgage banks and general difficulty in doing business in Nigeria. Other problems include lack of Foreclosure Law and inhibitions from the Land Use Act 1978.

He explained that the low mortgage penetration, which stands at less than one per cent is affecting the operators. Among the problems are dearth of titled property as creation of mortgages is hinged on the certainty of title to land; high cost of title registration/transfer usually 15 per cent of property value but as high as 22 per cent in some states as well as non-automation of government process in registration and land titling.Akinlusi also noted the difficulty in accessing National Housing Fund (NHF) by majority of Nigerians due to inadequacy of funds to support the scheme as some key stakeholders are not making any contribution into the scheme as stipulated by the NHF Act.

On ways to ensure a robust sub sector, Akinlusi suggested inclusion of the informal sector with its distinct Uniform Mortgage Underwriting Standards and amendment of Pension Act to facilitate withdrawals from RSA for down payments on equity contribution to boost inclusion; reduction in Cost of Title Registration and Transfer from 13per cent of property value, and Collateral Replacement Indemnity (CRI) to boost inclusion for up to 95per cent from 80per cent Loan to Value (LTV).

Originally published in The Guardian

Fresh controversy rages over Lagos land use charge policy

Fresh widespread opposition may await the Lagos Government’s newly passed bill on land Use Charge policy, if indications emerging from the sector’s major players are anything to go by.The proposed law, which repealed the Land Use Charge Law 2001 and enacted Land Use Charge 2017 and For Connected Purposes, aimed at increasing the revenue generation base of the state by bringing more houses into its net.

The 27-section bill harmonised Land Rates Law, Neighbourhood Improvement Charge Law and Tenement Rates Law. The bill, if passed into law, will end all other rates on land except the Land Use Charge.Already passed by the Lagos State’s House of Assembly and awaiting the governor’s assent, the proposed law has stirred up the hornet’s nest following some provisions; stakeholders consider unfair to property owners.

Titled: “A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Consolidation of Property and Land Based Charges and Make Provisions for the Levying and Collection of Land Use Charge in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes”,

Under the bill, “ the annual amount of the Land Use Charge payable for any Property shall be arrived at by multiplying the market value of the property by the applicable relief rate and annual charge rate, using the prescribed formular.“The land value and building value rates constituting the market value of the property shall be reviewed at least once every five years on the basis of information available to professional valuers, and may vary from area to area.

According to the bill, the Land Use Charge will be payable in respect of property that is not exempted under Section 12 of the law.Some of the properties exempted from the proposed law include property owned and occupied by a religious body and used exclusively as a place of worship or religious education.Also exempted are public cemeteries and burial grounds as well as property used as a registered educational institution certified by the commissioner to be non-profit making.

In addition, the proposed law exempts any property specifically exempted by the Executive Governor by notice published in the State Official Gazette and all palaces of recognised Obas and Chiefs in the state.However, the law made it clear that an exempted property shall become liable for Land Use Charge if the use of such property changes to one that does not qualify for exemption.

The repealed, law guiding the Land use charge (LUC) was introduced by the government of Governor Bola Tinubu and it generated serious criticisms and subsequently legal battles until the rates were reduced.Some of the critical issues were the formula the government used to arrive at the capital values of properties and non-involvement of registered estate surveyors in the process, who should determine the values, and/or arbitrary values ascribed to properties.

There were also concerns over usurpation of local council’s statutory right in collection of tenement rates and provision of amenities in the local council area.With state collecting all together, the decision on what should get to the local councils, as tenement rate has remained a big issue.

Specifically, real estate practitioners, especially valuers are querying its equitability and methods used for the classification of property, stressing that it was based on capital value, which is not applicable in other climes.For instance, a chartered estate surveyor and valuer, Chief Kola Akomolede, argued that one of the qualities of a good tax was that it should be equitable.He stressed in those interventions that the land use charge was not equitable at all and could discourage people from investing in property, which will further worsen the accommodation problem of the populace as a result of reduced supply.

Akomolede told The Guardian that it is wrong to pay an annual tax on the capital value instead of the annual value. “If you pay income tax, you pay it on annual income not on the entire income of several years you will live. Even in London, where we copied this laws, tenement rate or council tax is based on annual value not on the capital value.

“That aspect is what I don’t agree though I have not read the whole bill but that is how it was in the old law. I wrote an article criticising it and in several places I mentioned it and I still believe it is wrong. If you will recollect, this was subject to several litigations until they reduced the rate to make it very low, where as what they need to do is that they could have put the annual charge on the annual value of each property in which case if the rental income from the property is N5milion, they should base the charge on the N5 million and not on N100 million, which is the capital value of the property, that aspect is what I found very uncomfortable as far as I am concerned”, he added.

For a fellow of Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Prince Ahmed Adepoju, the non-involvement of estate surveyors and valuers in the process is a major lacuna, which has made it a nullity.According to him, “when the first law was passed, that was our major cross that the proper thing was not done. You cannot be asking people to pay for their property using this method because if you are talking about property market value, you are talking about the economy of the property itself.

“When you look at that, you will not know the basis they used to value the property. It is not a welcome law to us, because we were not consulted”, he noted.
In tacit acquiescence to Adepoju’s position, the chairman of the branch of Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Olurogba Orimalade, said it is a pity that the institution was not consulted before such bill was passed.According to him, ‘nothing has change either before or during the re-enactment of the law to change our position that the formula being used is what we don’t understand. ‘It beats our imagination. We don’t know how they come about this formula being used to levy people’.

He said: “ We did make our position known that there has to be clarity especially to the professionals that, it is their discipline and their training to be advising government on how the levy should be made. “ We only got notice of it some few days before the public hearing that was held at the state house of assembly. Be that it may, we stated our position and forwarded it to them. Our position still remains the same. We are calling on government to come and sit down with us from the look of it, at the end of the day, the professionals will be called to look at what government is trying to do in order to justify it are the valuers.

“If the valuers and institution itself were not involved or were not carried along properly in arriving at the formula, then I think it brings a lot of questions to be asked on the process. All over the world including the United kingdom, there is no law that has to do with land administrations and matters that you will not consult the RICS, that is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, it is not about the RICS calling government. That government could roll out something as fundamental as this without consulting us , is not proper.

“So as far as we are concerned, a lot of questions still need to be asked, the formula is a formula that we still don’t understand how government arrived at to levy people through the amalgamation of all the taxes. “Our position has been clear from day one, because you are bringing tenement rates, ground rates and all that under one roof, there are certain things by the laws of the land , that are made to be charged by local government, this is now being brought together under one roof. There is neigbhourhood charge, which formed part of the land use charge, which should be even separated from the land use charge.

For us, there are so many issues and areas, so it is not today, it has started, and our position is that we understand what government is trying to do.“ I think, it was only nice to tell them that before you venture into areas like this, they should consult properly the institution, that is a key stakeholders on this, it is just that we are brought in early to look at this”, he added. Another fellow of NIESV, Ben Oshadiya said consolidation of the levy would be good, if only they will give local governments their dues after consolidation.

According to him, they should allow the local council to function; they can only function when they give them part of the money they are consolidating.
“ Consolidation is good, no doubt because it will reduce multiplicity, the only thing is that there is a problem with the formula for the computation.They just look at the property and said this one will be able to generate so much, it is not correct in all cases. “ The issue is let them spend the money well, when people see the way they spent the money, and all organs of government are functioning well, nobody will oppose it but the formula for calculation should be equitable”, he added.

Oshadiya stressed that if the formula is what government should be able to defend, people will be ready to pay, while government should make judicious use of the tax to provide the requisite services.“It is no use paying land use charge, when you still pay your refuse, when you have to connect your water, when you have to construct the road leading to your home virtually by yourself or to do those things government should do for you.

“If they make sure that everything is okay, everybody will be wiling to cooperate with government. While people complain is that when development do not go round, there are many areas where there are no government impact, they have to spread the development”, he added.

Originally published in The Guardian

Report warns against impending flooding globally

A report by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany, has alerted that rainfall changes caused by global warming will increase river flood risks across the globe including Africa.

According to the report, fluvial floods are among the most common and devastating natural disasters. Scientistsí say there is the need for increase in flood protection until the year 2040s worldwide, breaking it down to single regions and cities.

The findings stressed that the need for adaptation is greatest in the US, Africa, and parts of India and Indonesia, and in Central Europe including Germany.

Inaction would expose many millions of people to severe flooding. More than half of the United States must at least double their protection level within the next two decades if they want to avoid a dramatic increase in river flood risks, it states.

The lead-author, Sven Willner said without additional adaptation measures such as; enhancing dykes, improved river management, increasing building standards, or relocating settlements ñ the number of people affected by the worst 10 percent of all river flooding events will increase in many places.

In Northern America from 0.1 to 1 million ñ while this seems not like a large number, it is a tenfold increase. In Germany it could rise sevenfold, from 0.1 to 0.7 million. Absolute values are even bigger elsewhere: in South America the number of people affected by flooding risks will likely increase from 6 to 12 million, in Africa from 25 to 34 million, and in Asia from 70 to 156 million.

The real numbers might be even higher in the future as population growth and further urbanisation is not taken into account. Even in developed countries with good infrastructure the need for adaptation is bigî, he said.

The study is based on comprehensive computer simulations using existing data on rivers from a great number of sources. While this data is not perfect for each and every river in the remotest corners of our planet, it certainly is sufficient for places where a lot of people live, a lot of financial values are accumulated, and where flood risks are substantial ñ we know enough about the places that matterî, Willner explains.

The data on changes in rainfall evaporation and the like were from the worldwide largest modelling inter-comparison project of climate impacts (ISIMIP), coordinated by Katja Frieler at PIK.

The spatial detail of the new study is roughly ten times more precise than in commonly used climate computer simulations.

The co-author of the study Anders Levermann said; ìWe have been surprised to find that even in developed countries with good infrastructure the need for adaptation is bigî.

The findings should be a warning to decision-makers. ìIf they choose to ignore the issue, sadly enough disaster will come.

The time has come where mitigating future climate change must be accompanied by adapting to the climate change that we already caused. Doing nothing will be dangerousî, he stated.

Originally published in The Guardian

The Power of Focus

The brain is always seeking out what’s new and what’s next, but we get better results when we focus. Focus improves efficiency and growth. Identifying what’s important and what’s not will also help determine what to focus on. Focus gives you the clear and sharply defined condition of an image, situation, task etc.

In the 16th century, there was a legal Chinese punishment called ‘The Chinese Water Torture’, where a continuous stream of dripping water strikes the same spot on the offender’s forehead for a prolonged period of time, cracking them up emotionally and leading to death in some cases. An investigation on the effectiveness of this torture found that it was effective, capable of causing so much damage even in a controlled environment.

That is what focus does. A drop of water would not have made an impact, but the consistency ensures each drop leaves the spot worse than it was.

As at the time of writing this article, 420 hours have passed from a total of 8760 hours of the New Year. If Les Brown’s quote expressed thus ‘What you focus on the longest becomes the strongest’ is anything to go by, then what you have focused on the most in the first 420 hours might turn out to be where you get the best results so far.

Staying focused can be tough sometimes due to several distractions and dwindling attention span. When you need to focus without distractions, here’s what to do:

Focus on what really matters

Identify what is worthy of your energy and what is not. Ask yourself, for optimum results, what really requires your focus today, tomorrow, this week, this month, this year? Make a plan and prioritize. Identify when you function better and take advantage.

Don’t let the tough tasks build up

Typically, we tend to take care of the less tedious tasks before we move on to the tough ones.  As you continue your tasks, your energy level drops, and sometimes, so does your productivity.

If the task requires creativity and more concentration, carry it out before you move to the less difficult ones.

Manage distractions

The same way you ask what needs your attention, you need to ask and understand what is worthy of your distraction. While at work, you can schedule a time to attend to some of these necessary distractions. Eg. Checking your phone etc.

Pause to replay

Sometimes you need to take a few minutes break from everything to re-energize your brain. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task.

PFAs invest N224.7bn in real estate

The Pension Fund Administrators have invested a total of N224.7bn of the increasing funds under the Contributory Pension Scheme in real estate.

Latest figures obtained from the National Pension Commission indicate that this amount represents 3.03 per cent of the total N7.4tn assets under the management of the pension operators.

The commission also stated that substantial funds had been invested in domestic and foreign ordinary shares, the Federal Government of Nigeria and state securities, among other investment portfolios.

Last year, the commission reviewed the regulations for the investment of pension funds, stating that the PFAs must offer a multi-fund structure for the Retirement Savings Accounts of contributors.

It also stated that there would be a transition period of six months, effective from the commencement date of the multi-fund structure, for all the PFAs to restructure their respective portfolios.

“The multi-fund structure shall comprise Fund I, Fund II, Fund III, and Fund IV (retiree fund). Funds I, II, III, and IV shall, however, differ according to their overall exposure to variable income instruments,” it stated.

The Pension Reform Act was enacted to provide a contributory scheme for the payment of retirement benefits of employees in both public and private sectors.

The Act mandates every employee to open a Retirement Savings Account in their name with any PFA of their choice and notify their employer.

Employers, according to the law, are required to deduct eight per cent of the workers’ monthly emolument and add another 10 per cent, which should be paid into each employee’s RSA not later than seven days after the salary is paid.

The Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Eguarehide Longe, said the pension funds were active in different investment portfolios.

“We are there to invest in a way that the funds will not be lost,” he said.

According to him, if the funds are used for infrastructure, this can have significant impact on the economy.

Longe, who said some investors had been approaching the operators to access the funds, noted that the real sector was not a place where they could just invest huge amount, adding that sectors such as agriculture were areas that needed to be well understood before investing the funds there.

Originally published in The Punch

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