Correction to media report
FOLLOWING the phone interview by sol star on the Minister of Finance contributions in Parliament on NPF investments, and that I had just arrived back from overseas with only the reporters interpretation of what was said, I feel it only right that after reading what the Minister has said, that I have interpreted it in a manner that was defensive, and would like to correct my statement in light of what the Minister was saying.
It is obvious now that the Minister’s assessment was forward looking in ensuring a best practice scenario in ensuring the Fund is performing to a high expected outcome, especially in regards to its investment portfolio.
This is why he referred to the general reserves being used to supplement the annual crediting to members accounts. Although there is nothing wrong with this as it is the member funds after all.
But the message is in line with best practices performed by other regional funds in ensuring the reserves are not used as an excuse for underperforming investments and that a policy is required so that the integrity of the reserve funds are intact.
The Minister was critical in this respect which implied that the fund needs to be prudent in ensuring investment are performing to best expectation and not to be complacent just because we are performing better than other funds in the region.
The Minister was correct when he said there are certain investments underperforming which could also be translated as bad investments by not giving the return on investment as originally forecast but none the less definitely not making a loss on investments.
Over the last 10 years the Fund has aligned with government policies in its investments and hence the growth of the Funds investment portfolio which has become quite diverse.
There is the risk element attached to this and as the Minister implied the need for the Fund, including directors and management to ensure the Funds’ investments are giving the returns that were forecast when the investment was originally approved.
In hind sight the Ministers statement is in line with external oversight assessment on risk mitigation strategy and he has left no room for complacency.
In this regard I fully accept the Minister non bias criticism of the Fund that he represents, and in that light we as the trustees take note and align ourselves to arise to the challenge to improve the funds capacity and best practices in ensuring the fudujical duty entrusted to us during our watch.
On this note I apologise to the Minister for misinterpreting the media views of the Minister’s message which I over defended the National Provident Fund investment portfolio past and present.
Any further queries in relation to the Fund’s investments will be addressed by management.
Chairman of SINPF Board