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FG Has no Accurate Figure of Pensioners — Investigation

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  • FG Has no Accurate Figure of Pensioners

Despite huge funds spent on a series of verification conducted to ascertain the number of its retirees under the Defined Benefits Scheme over the years, the Federal Government still has no accurate data of its pensioners nationwide, investigation has revealed.

The Pension Reform Task Team, which was inaugurated in 2010 to manage the scheme, conducted the verification of the retirees same year but it was said to be inconclusive. The group was dissolved in 2012.

During the verification, the team claimed to have discovered and deleted 73,000 fake retirees from the government’s payroll.

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, the agency regulating the old pension scheme, also said it had deleted more fake pensioners from the payroll after conducting a series of verification of the retirees since 2013 when it was established.

The Association of Retired Senior Public Officers of Nigeria, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the recent delisting of about 15,128 pensioners, saying some of its members were affected.

ARFESPON, made up of retired management-level officers from salary grade level 14 to permanent secretaries, comptrollers-generals of Customs, Immigration and Prisons and career ambassadors, lamented that due to this, the affected members had not received their pension benefits since November last year.

The Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, (Federal Branch) Lagos, Arasi Lawal, also said that the government and PTAD did not know the actual number of civil service pensioners in the country.

According to the latest report by PTAD, the Federal Government releases N6.24bn monthly for the payment of its retirees.

Yet, many retirees have continued to complain of not finding their names on the payroll.

He queried the failure of the agency responsible for the verification of retirees for not completing the exercise in time, which was meant to determine ghost pensioners.

The National President of the NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, identified some of the problems of federal retirees to include non-payment of gratuities of pensioners from 1976 to date, short payment and sudden stoppage of monthly pension stipends without reasons.

He also faulted the non-compliance with constitutional stipulation of five yearly pension review in line with sections 173(3) and 210(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary, PTAD Sharon Ikeazor, said the directorate had verified 4,389 civil service pensioners in the North-East states of Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi.

According to her, the verification, which started on November 28, 2016, was concluded on December 6 in Adamawa State.

She said a total of 4,291 pensioners and 98 next of kin of deceased pensioners were verified in the four states during the exercise.

“No one will be left behind as we address all complaints. Complaint resolution is a continuous process until all genuine pensioners’ complaints have been resolved,” she said.

She observed that the annual budgetary allocations for pension were often one of the most vulnerable items in budget implementation.

In many cases, even where budgetary provisions were made, she said, inadequate and untimely release of funds often resulted in delays and accumulation of arrears of pensions

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.

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Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0

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The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.

The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.

MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant  issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.

The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.

The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.

According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”

“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.

MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.

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Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria

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Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.

Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.

This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.

Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.

Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”

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Chevron To Invest In The Offshore Wind Sector

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Chevron’s venture capital arm and Moreld Ocean Wind have agreed to invest in Ocergy Inc.’s development and commercialization of floating offshore wind turbines.

The investment by Chevron Technology Ventures is it’s first in offshore wind. The size of the investments wasn’t disclosed. Floating turbines would be useful in ocean areas that are too deep for fixed turbines.

A senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Anthony Logan said: “To my knowledge, this is the first investment by a U.S. oil major in offshore wind”

Logan said, floating wind turbines will become important as the U.S. electrical grid increasingly depends on offshore wind power.

“If you can get into those deeper waters, chances are you can build a system of offshore wind production that isn’t vulnerable to low wind or no-wind events.”

The investment will also fund the development of an environmental monitoring buoy that will gather data and support biodiversity, Ocergy said in a news release Tuesday. The company has previously invested in onshore wind. Moreld is owned by HitecVision, a private equity investor that specializes in European renewable energy.

Chevron’s deal with Ocergy doesn’t mark a strategic pivot to renewable energy, but part of a $300 million-a-year plan to invest in early-stage technologies that may play a future role in the energy transition. The company is unwilling to erode returns by investing aggressively in an unfamiliar business where it doesn’t have a competitive advantage and sees oil and gas as its core products for years to come.

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