By NBF News

The pension industry is to assist in growth and development of every nation's economy, and the Nigeria pension industry is not an exception as it has created over the years a valuable outlet for investment.

The pension assets have continued to grow, from N2 trillion in 2010 to over N2.7 trilion in 2011 which represent an increase of 35 percent.

However, while there were opportunities for merger and acquisition following Pencom guidelines, many PFAs including Trustfund, based on informed decision, and having met the requirement far ahead of time, decided to maintain its status quo with the conviction that it would produce the best result for all stakeholders.

Chairman of board of director of Trustfund Pension, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme who spoke during the company Annual General Meeting (AGM) said, 'We must acknowledge that with the few mergers and acquisitions and completion of the recapitalization exercises, competition in the industry has redefined, with customer-centrism being the watch word'.

According to her,  there are challenges which include non-compliance with Pension Reform Act by many companies, nonchalant attitude of some state governments to provisions of the Act.

The chairman stressed that it is the belief that the regulator will continue to review and upgrade its compliance and monitoring oversight function, adding that the firm will remain proactive in monitoring the developments, especially in state, while sustaining existing clientele base in that segment.

She remarked that Pencom which is a body that regulate Pension Fund Administration (PFA)s in Nigeria recently gave Trustfund Pension a clean bill to operate following its inspection of the sources of funds on recapitalization.

This is because the company met the minimum capital base before recapitalization guideline, and stakeholders described organization as worker-friendly.

Despite the global economies that is still on its path to recovery, the deepening economic and debt crisis in Europe which continue to effect recovery, and the continues unrest in the Arab world that also posed a threat to economic improvement with again Nigerian economy experiencing turmoil due to challenges of insecurity, the chairman of Trustfund Pension Dr. Ngozi Olejeme told the customers that there is no cause for alarm.

She said with the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the creation of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and with the fact that Trustfund Pension was built around strong corporate governance structure, unwavering risk management framework, versatile and integrated investment approach, coupled with a sound management team that is supported by committed workforce, the company has created the absorptive capacities for any eventuality.

She however disclosed that Trustfund Pension Plc had declared a profit after tax of about N353milion for the year ended December 31, 2011, representing a 64.2 percent over the N215 million in 2010, while its gross earnings also grew from N1.735 in 2010 to N2.12 in 2011 representing a 22.1 percent.

Dr. Ngozi, while recognizing the company desire to continually create wealth for the stakeholders, said this had demonstrated in the value added to the stakeholders' fund from N1.773bn in 2010 to N1.994bn in 2011 representing 12 percent increase.

According to the chairman, are 'all efforts are aimed at sustaining our resolve to render a paralleled service to our customers, continually strengthening our IT units for the challenges ahead and to accommodate our increasing number customers.

'We shall continue to leverage on the strength of our brand in the industry, our dynamic ownership structure and our national outlook for greater heights while ensuring that we never lose sight of the pace of change in the global and national environments,' she said.

She added that Trustfund is determined to be a leader in the fund management by doubling the number of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) which is N273 million against N234 million in 2010.

According to her, the company was mindful of the global economic fragilities that are resulted from the worsening debt crisis even as the situation was not friendly either down here in Nigeria with the growing insecurity in most part of the country.

'I want to acknowledge that our company performed well despite the gloomy economic situation as cited earlier. Let me reassure our partners and all interested parties that efforts will continue to be made to ensure that our company is steady on the path of wealth creation for all members, while recognizing any significant change in policy and business environment'.

The chairman also charged members of the boards to continue to ensure professionalism and expertise so that 'our company will continue to strengthen its corporate governance structure and practices as all its activities'.

Most of the directors and shareholders who spoke at the end of the meeting commended the company for recording such achievements, but urged the management to strived more to ensure Trustfund become a PFA   with a difference.