17 May 2016

The Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI) was recently privileged to host a delegation from the National Nigerian Pension Commission (PenCom), which was led by its esteemed Director General, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu.

The day started with an invitation-only breakfast meeting which was well attended by Scottish and Nigeria industry leaders. Delegates gathered around the grand table in the Raeburn Room where the companies represented included: Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Premium Pension Limited and AIICO Pension Managers Limited (from Nigeria) and Walter Scott, Rathbones, Cameron Hume Limited, LeapFrog Investments, Dundas Global, Aberdeen Asset Management and Scottish Development International (SDI).

Breakfast delegates at PenCom presentation
Delegates from industry leading pension providers in Nigeria and Scotland enjoyed hearing about PenCom's development and plans for the future
Ian Clarke, Kenneth Amaeshi, and Chinelo Anohu-Amazu
PenCom’s director general, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, met with the University of Edinburgh Business School’s Dean, Professor Ian Clarke

After affirming that PenCom’s primary role is to ensure that retirement benefits are paid as and when due, Ms Anohu-Amazu provided a detailed description of PenCom’s historical 2004 reform and its aspirations for the future. She highlighted the successes and challenges of its growth and confirmed its position as one of the most forward-thinking pension regulations authorities in Africa, and internationally. An energetic discussion about potential future collaborations followed.

The delegation then enjoyed meetings at the Business School, including with the Dean of Business School, Professor Ian Clarke, before preparing for the evening guest lecture.

Delegates at SBIAF

At the evening Inaugural SBIAF Guest Lecture, Ms Anohu-Amazu gave a presentation titled Pension Funds: Opportunities for Infrastructure Support in the Development of African Economies. The audience received a broad introduction and overview of African Pension Funds and the director general then moved on to discuss opportunities for investment in infrastructure, such as:

  • value addition manufacturing
  • professional advisory services
  • power / energy
  • transportation
  • information and communication technology
  • agriculture and agri – business value chain
  • real estate

PenCom is the Legal and Institutional Architecture of The Nigerian Pension Industry. It ensures strong systems and regulations are in place and the passing of the Pension Reform Act in 2014 means these are enforceable by law. Nigeria now presents a robust market for investment and Ms Anohu-Amazu presented the following justifications for this:

  • FDI Inflows: Soared from USD 624 Million in Q2 2015 to USD 1.2b in Q3.
  • Stable Democratic Environment: Improved Elections, smooth transition of Governments.
  • Economic Diversification: Decline in oil prices has heightened the clamour for investment in infrastructure to fully exploit other sources of income.
  • Favourable Demographics: Population of over 170 million with about 60% under the age of 30.
  • Policy Sustainability: Pension Reform sustained by four successive governments.
  • Excellent Track Record: Pension industry is high on corporate governance.
Kenneth presentation at SBIAF
Dr Kenneth Amaeshi, director of the SBI, welcoming delegates to the inaugural lecture for the Scottish Business in Africa Forum
Kenneth awarding trophy to Chinelo Anohu-Amazu
Chinelo Anohu-Amazu is awarded a thank-you trophy by Dr Kenneth Amaeshi

Nigeria is now looking forward to implementation of its Micro Pension initiative which aims to engage and incorporate the undeserved informal sector. Working with SBI, PenCom are also in the process of developing a new set of Sustainability Principles to govern the investments and operations of the Nigerian pension industry.

PenCom is clearly a trailblazer in Africa in terms of transforming a regulatory vision into reality and it was a delight for all those attendees at the breakfast and evening lecture who were able to hear about this first hand.

Many thanks go to the Nigerian Delegation for their warmness and enthusiasm, the Dean International for Africa, Dr Ola Uduku, and SBI’s Director, Dr Kenneth Amaeshi, for championing this initiative as well as the Royal Africa Society and the University of Edinburgh International Office for assisting and supporting the development of the Forum.

The next Forum event will take place in October (most likely the week commencing 3 October) and more details will follow soon. For more information, please get in touch at sbi@ed.ac.uk.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the media coverage for this event, please see the following news article:

Further Information