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PFAS JITTERY OVER RECAPITALISATION DEADLINE

By NBF News
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As the June 30 deadline issued by the National Pensions Commission, (PenCom) for Pension Funds Administrators, (PFAs) to recapitalise draws closer there are fears in the industry that many of them may not meet the deadline.

Particularly apprehensive are those PFAs owned by banks, which operations are paralysed on account of divestment of staff and other interests by the parent banks, from the institutions, in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria's directive for them to focus on strict banking activities.

Also, other corporate owners of the PFAs, such as insurance companies, are facing challenges which are having spillover effects on the operations of the subsidiary PFAs.

LEADERSHIP can report that many of the PFAs in these categories are yet to recapitalise and are currently involved in last minute acquisition moves with vibrant companies to secure their licences and remain in business.

Some of the PFAs are however at the final stage of raising funds to ensure they beat the deadline.

The Commission however declined any comment saying it would rather wait till the expiration of the deadline.

PFAs are the licenced managers of the contributory pension scheme that manage the largest pool of long-term investible funds.

The PFAs are AIICO Pension Managers Limited, Amana Capital Pension Limited; APT Pension Fund Managers Limited; ARM Pension Managers Limited; Citi Trust Pension Managers Limited; CRIB Pension Fund Managers Limited; CrusaderSterling Pensions Limited; Evergreen Pensions Limited and Fidelity Pension Managers

Others are First Guarantee Pension Limited; Future Unity Glanvils Pensions Limited; IEI-Anchor Pension Managers Limited; IGI Pension Fund Managers Limited; Leadway Pensure PFA Limited; Legacy Pension Managers Limited; NLPC Pension Fund Administrators Limited; OAK Pensions Limited; Penman Pensions Limited; Pensions Alliance Limited; Premium Pension Limited; Royal Trust Pension Fund Administrator Limited; Sigma Pensions Limited; Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited and Trustfund Pensions Plc.

PenCom had in a circular about one year ago directed the PFAs to raise their capital base from N150 million to N1 billion and gave them up till June 30, 2012 to comply.

Recall that in the circular, the commission through its oversight function, noted that the minimum paid-up share capital of N150 million was no longer adequate to meet the operational expenses of the PFAs, given its intensive IT nature and an average gestation period of five years.

The minimum shareholders' fund of N1 billion unimpaired by losses is considered adequate to absorb unforeseen losses and improve the financial condition as well as business processes of the PFAs, given the current market situation. It would also encourage healthy mergers or acquisitions and promote stability in the industry.

Justifying the new capital base in a memo to the operators, the Commission said, 'Furthermore, it is expected that the improved financial condition of the PFAs after the implementation of the reviewed capital requirement, would lead to improved service delivery and product development resulting from automation (timely payments).'