- Retirees to Earn Minimum Pension from 2017
Retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme will from early next year enjoy a minimum pension payment irrespective of the balance in their Retirement Savings Accounts.
The Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Eguarekhide Longe, disclosed this to our correspondent in an exclusive interview.
“The minimum pension is going to take up early next year. We (operators) are supposed to pay three per cent of our management fees to set up the fund, the National Pension Commission is supposed to pay another fee and they have already given us a notice that we must ensure that we put that money in our budget in 2017 and that it will take up next year,” he said.
Last year, operators of the scheme proposed a minimum stipend of N14,400 for each retiree in the draft guideline on the commencement of the minimum pension for retirees under the CPS.
Longe, however, did not confirm if the minimum pension would remain the same amount.
He noted that pension operators had a responsibility to make their own contribution to the fund to kick-start the payment of the minimum stipends, while the Federal Government would also have to pay its own contribution.
“Pension operators will put forward the information of the people who are not earning up to the minimum pension stipend and they can now get the augmented amount from the pension protection fund, that is how it works,” he said.
The Pension Reform Act, 2014 provided that PenCom should establish and maintain a fund to be known as the Pension Protection Fund in respect of the guaranteed minimum pension.
According to the Act, funding of the minimum guaranteed pension will be partly obtained from an annual subvention of one per cent of the total monthly wage bill payable to employees in the public service of the federation and returns from pension fund investments.
It will also be funded from the annual pension protection levy paid by PenCom and all licensed pension operators at a rate to be determined by the commission from time to time.
The draft guideline, which has been sent to PenCom by the operators, states that only workers who have contributed a minimum of 15 years into their Retirement Savings Accounts will enjoy the minimum pension.
It added that the informal sector and casual workers must have contributed to their RSAs for 120 and 135 months, respectively before they could enjoy this privilege.
The initiative, according to the operators, will bring an end to the situation where retirees are paid abysmally low pensions or paid nothing when the balances in their RSAs are very small.
Presently, the CPS and the old defined benefit pension scheme are in existence in the country.
Pensioners under the defined benefit scheme have also been agitating for the payment of a guaranteed minimum pension.
Recently, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners proposed a minimum pension of N25,000 for retirees under the old defined scheme, but the Federal Government has yet to respond to the proposal.
The National President, NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, stated, “It needs to be pointed out that many pensioners under the defined benefits scheme receive less than N10,000 per month. This can never be regarded as a minimum or living pension.
“With the present economic situation in the country, no pensioner should be paid less than N25,000.”
FG Introduces NEXIT Portal for Npower Batch A and B Beneficiaries
The Federal Government has introduced a new online portal for exited Npower beneficiaries of batch A and B.
According to the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq, the portal was launched in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable exited Npower beneficiaries apply for available federal government empowerment options.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Nneka Anibeze, the media aide to the minister, on Friday.
The ministry said the NEXIT portal will be used to determine the suitability of exited beneficiaries for various CBN-affiliated programmes.
She explained that selection will be based on the conditions and criteria set by the apex bank.
Ms Farouq, therefore, urged interested exited Npower beneficiaries to log on to the NEXIT portal and provide the required additional information for possible placements into central bank’s intervention options.
“The Minister expressed her deep appreciation to the CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele CON for his support adding that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs remained committed to the vision of Mr President to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
“Minister Umar Farouq pledged the Ministry’s willingness to collaborate with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders towards the realization of that vision and congratulated the exited beneficiaries while wishing them well in their future endeavours.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is very proud of the milestones you have achieved during your period of service to the nation. As we prepare to exit into prospective endeavours.”
Ellah Lakes Partner Ondo State Government to Develop Oil Palm, Cassava in the State
The management of Ellah Lakes Plc said it has partnered with Ondo State Government to develop and manage 5000 hectares of land for the purpose of cultivating oil palm and cassava in Ondo State, Nigeria.
The company stated in a statement signed by Kenechi Ezezika, Company Secretary, Ellah Lakes Plc.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, Chuka Mordi said: “This is a significant landmark for the Company in the development of our landbank, & we are very excited to be working with ODSG.
“I am delighted that we are fulfilling our strategic objective of progressively expanding our land bank & diversifying our portfolio and production base. I am also glad to say that the intercropping programme in Edo State is progressing steadily & we have achieved our first milestone of 100Hectares of Cassava with the participation of personnel of the Agricultural Development Program (ADP), in Edo State”.
The Special Adviser on Development & Investment to the Ondo State Governor/ Chief Executive Officer of Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Mr. Akinboye Oyewumi, who also spoke on the development said: “We are pleased with this collaboration with Ellah Lakes Plc., and we look forward to a mutually beneficial, valuable and fruitful venture.”
Unilever Nigeria Appoints Mr Jaime Aguilera as a Non-Executive Director
Unilever Nigeria Plc announced it has appointed Mr. Jaime Aguilera as a Non-Executive Director of the company effective from January 2021.
The company stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Mr Jaime Aguilera worked with Coca-cola, Nestle and Procter & Gamble before joining Unilever as Executive Vice President Unilever Eastern Europe in September 2016.
Therefore, his experience spans from Europe, Americas and Asia.
His key expertise areas are “in Sales & Marketing and he has lead teams in Spain, Brazil, South Eastern Europe, Middle East, Mexico and Global teams.
“In 2009, he joined Unilever Spain as EVP & Chairman and then moved to his current role as Unilever Executive Vice President Africa, leading the Unilever business in Africa. Jaime is of Spanish origin and is an alumnus of the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas- ICADE. Jaime majored in Economic Sciences, Management & Business Administration.”
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