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Economy

PFAs Invest N1.7bn in Infrastructure

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the Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs

The total funds invested by operators of the Contributory Pension Scheme in infrastructure have risen to N1.7bn.

Statistics obtained by our correspondent also showed that the total pension assets under management of the operators in July 2016 rose to N5.82tn.

A higher percentage of the funds, totalling N3.98tn or 68.42 per cent, was invested in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities, the report indicated.

The National Pension Commission has given the guidelines to operators on the direction for investing the growing pension funds in infrastructure.

It stated that as much as 15 per cent of the total value of the pension fund assets under management could be invested in infrastructure through infrastructure bonds; and another five per cent of the total value of pension fund assets could be invested in infrastructure through infrastructure funds, making 20 per cent of the total value of the pension assets.

According to the regulator, pension fund assets could be invested in infrastructure through either infrastructure bonds or infrastructure funds.

It added that both outlets must meet the conditions for the investment of pension fund in infrastructure before the Pension Fund Administrators could channel the fund into the investment.

The regulation provided that the fund could be invested in infrastructure projects through eligible bonds, subject to two major conditions.

It stated, “The infrastructure project shall not be less than N5bn in value and awarded to a concessionaire with a track record through an open and transparent bidding process in accordance with the due process requirements set out in the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission Act, and any regulation made pursuant thereto and certified by the ICRC and approved by the Federal Executive Council.”

Other conditions for the investment of pension assets in infrastructure, it added, included that the projects must have business plans and financial projections indicating they were viable as well as economically and financially rewarding.

The regulator said the bonds or Sukuks issued to finance the infrastructure projects should have robust credit enhancements including guarantees by the Federal Government or eligible bank/development finance institution and a maturity date preceding the expiration of the concession.

The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, said all investments of pension funds must follow laid down guidelines.

“The pension funds are not idle but we don’t just give out the money arbitrarily. The PFAs are the investors of the funds and PenCom regulates the investment,” she said.

She said if any PFA invested the funds in assets not approved, the commission would know and would either sanction or withdraw the operator’s licence.

The PenCom boss said more than a decade after the CPS began, no fraud had been recorded in the scheme.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

CBN Predicts 2 Percent Growth for Nigeria in 2021

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Despite the economic recession and numerous uncertainties encompassing Nigeria in recent months, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the nation will grow by 2 percent in 2021.

Speaking at the 2020 bankers’ dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN, said implemented government intervention programmes will aid the nation’s recovery by next year.

Emefiele further stated that the intervention efforts represent around 3.5 percent of Nigeria’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said, “Our actions in 2021 would be guided by the considerations that emerged from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of November 23 & 24, 2020, which sought to address the major headwinds exerting downward pressure on output growth and upward pressure on domestic prices.”

On fast declining foreign reserves, the Governor said the institution has adopted a demand management framework designed to boost the production of items that can be produced locally and aid conservation of external reserves.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the shock, we continued to favour a gradual liberalisation of the foreign exchange market in order to smoothen exchange rate volatility and mitigate the impact which rapid changes in the exchange rate could have on key macro-economic variables,” Emefiele stated.

The CBN projection came few weeks after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s report showed Africa’s largest economy contracted by 3.62 percent in the third quarter following a 6.10 percent decline posted in the second quarter. Nigeria officially slid into the worse economic recession in almost 30 years and the second economic recession under the current administration.

While, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has projected that Nigeria would rebound from the recession in this final quarter or the very first quarter of 2021, falling revenue generation, rising capital flight amid weak demand due to the negative impact of coronavirus on earnings, household incomes and lack of jobs remain a concern.

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Economy

COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday

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Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.

Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.

The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.

OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.

This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.

Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.

The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.

President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.

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Economy

Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021

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The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.

The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.

Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.

According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.

The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.

He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”

He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”

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