The Senior Investment Advisor, Prosper Africa, Cameron Khowsroshahi has canvassed that more of the Nigerian pension fund is invested in the capital market.
Currently, 9.32 percent of the N17.92 trillion total pension assets amounting to N1.611 trillion is invested in the equities market, while 7.51 percent, equal to N1.298 trillion of the pension assets is in money market instruments.
Khowroshahi speaking at an engagement between Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the Institutional Investor Network (IIN) consisting of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Prosper Africa, and Power Africa, urged Nigeria to replicate the practice in the US whereby pension funds by regulations invest between 60 to 70 percent of their capital into equities and funds targeting equities.
The investment advisor who is one of the institutional investors from the United States currently in the country under the aegis of (IIN) urged more openness by Nigerian institutional investors just like their US counterparts, while also canvassing a new chapter in Africa and the US economic relationship, noting that private capital from both sides should play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable solutions for Nigeria and Africa.
During the engagement which was marked by a Closing Gong ceremony, the chairman of the NGX Group, Umaru Kwairanga called for a deeper relationship between the US and Nigeria.
Kwairanga highlighted areas in which the NGX has been engaging the government to further develop the capital market including the removal of capital controls, legislation to enhance the attractiveness of listings, pension reforms, policy-making to facilitate dollar-denominated market transactions, and the establishment of a private market.
“Significant opportunities for mutual economic expansion abound between the US and Nigeria”, he said, concluding that the NGX is positioned to facilitate more investment inflows.
The Chief Executive Officer, of NGX, Temi Popoola, emphasised the innovative activities of the Exchange around catalysing capital formation by both foreign and domestic investors. “We are working hand-in-hand with the government to create an attractive environment for listings and also on product innovation that can creatively channel more funds into the market.
Popoola also mentioned NGX’s technology innovations including the Technology Board to encourage listings from tech startups, and digital market access that will spur the younger generation of Nigerians to invest in the market.
Also speaking at the engagement was the CEO, of Chapel Hill Denham, Bolaji Balogun, who expressed hope that the Nigerian market will emulate the US market as regards lesser risk aversion to investing pensions in equities.