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FG Owes Retirees N143bn, says PenCom

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The Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Ms
  • FG Owes Retirees N143bn, says PenCom

The National Pension Commission on Thursday said that the Federal Government owed a total of N142.6bn in pension liabilities to retired workers from 2014 to 2016.

The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, disclosed this in a memorandum submitted to the Senate Committee on Establishments and Public Service at the 2017 budget defence session.

A copy of the memorandum was made available to our correspondents.

The DG expressed worry over the inability of the government to adequately fund the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account, adding that the development had left huge liabilities in the payment of pensions to retirees.

For instance, she said in 2014, the commission requested for a provision of N93.06bn based on the 11,010 verified and enrolled Federal Government employees scheduled to retire that year as well as estimates for deceased employees.

However, she noted that only N30.58bn was approved, thus resulting in a shortfall of N62.48bn in the 2014 fiscal period.

Anohu-Amazu informed the committee that the monthly mandates of N2.54bn for four months (September to December 2014), amounting to N10.19bn, were not cash-backed and released into the RBBRF account by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation after the Budget Office of the Federation had issued the “approval-to incur-expenditure” for that purpose.

In the 2015 fiscal period, the PenCom DG said the commission had, based on the data obtained on the Federal Government employees retiring that year and the death benefits claims as of September 2015, determined the government’s pension liability of N98.7bn for 13,799 retirees and estimates for deceased employees.

However, she lamented that only N60.25bn was appropriated in the 2015 budget for the purpose, thus resulting in another shortfall of N38.45bn for the retirees and deceased employees.

For the 2016 fiscal year, she said the commission requested for the provision of N91.91bn in the Appropriation Act based on 16,267 verified and enrolled government employees scheduled to retire within the year as well as estimates for deceased employees.

However, she stated that N50.19bn was presented before the National Assembly by the Budget Office, thereby resulting in a shortfall of N41.71bn.

She lamented that out of the approved N50.19bn, only N18.82bn, which was the mandate for four and half months, was released into the RBBRF account.

This, according to her, implies that mandates for seven and half months in the sum of N31.37bn were not cash-backed by the Accountant General of the Federation.

Anohu-Amazu said, “The distinguished Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service is further requested to consider and ensure the appropriation of adequate funds to facilitate the payment of the sum of N10,194,184,608 to pay all outstanding accrued benefits for deceased and mandatory retirees of the Federal Government for the period September to December 2014.

“The sum of N41,719,090,082, being the shortfall in the 2016 budget appropriation. The sum of N31,372,380,576, being the outstanding mandates for seven and half months in 2016 in order to effect payment of outstanding accrued benefits for deceased and mandatory retirees of the Federal Government.

“The appropriation of the total sum of N113,023,255,000 in the 2017 Appropriation Act in favour of the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account being the accrued benefits due to 16,267 retirees/prospective retirees and estimates for deceased employees for the year 2017.”

The PenCom DG stated that there was a need to ensure adequate appropriation under the Federal Government’s recurrent expenditure this year so as to facilitate the implementation of the 18 per cent rate of pension contributions.

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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Banking Sector

FirstBank Holds Non-Oil Export Webinar Series, Creates Awareness of The Bank’s Export Solutions

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced the convening of its non-oil export webinar series. The Event is centered on deliberating opportunities that will enhance the country’s expansion of its drive towards diversifying the national economy, thereby reducing the reliance of oil as a mainstay of the country’s revenue.  

The first series of the virtual event is scheduled for 10am on Tuesday, 30th November 2021 via Zoom meeting. To register and be part of this transformational knowledge session, click on this link-https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/business/non-oil-export/ . Registration is Free!! 

The event is themed “Building Sustainable Non-Oil Export in Nigeria; Harnessing Opportunities within the AfCFTA Treaty & Agro Commodities” and will have the attendance of Mr. Segun Awolowo MD/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); Dr Biodun Adedipe, Founder and Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult)  amongst others, as guest speakers.  

The webinar series aims to facilitate sustainable exports as well as guide participants on ways of navigating the hurdles and challenges of exports in Nigeria. The webinar will explore market and economic trends, unique export opportunities and potentials within the non-oil export industry across the geopolitical zones in the country.  

The importance of exports in Nigeria remains a front burner conversation by individuals and organisations as it provides a means of increasing the markets for producers, and an opportunity to attract the much needed foreign exchange earnings to boost the national economy, which is critical to expanding its Gross Domestic Products. 

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said: “in recent years, the country has witnessed increased activities by the government towards diversifying the economy, thereby boosting the export potentials of the country – beyond the contribution of crude oil – which has been the mainstay of the national economy for many decades.  

Our forthcoming Non-oil Webinar series will expand discussions that are crucial to the growth of Nigeria’s export potentials as we unlock numerous opportunities that will promote the economic diversification drive of the government which is essential to the continued growth of the national economy, especially with the current business challenges posed by the pandemic.”

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Currency in Circulation Now N2.97 Trillion in October – CBN

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Currency in circulation hit N2.97 trillion in the month of October, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The currency in circulation rose by N129 billion from N2.84 trillion recorded in the month of September to N2.97 trillion in October. This was after the currency in circulation declined from N2.8 trillion in July to N2.78 trillion in August.

Currency in circulation stood at N2.74 trillion in June, N2.79 trillion in May, N2.79 trillion in April, N2.8 trillion in March, N2.78 trillion in February and N2.83 trillion in January.

The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.

“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic.”

The bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.

The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.

The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.

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Banking Sector

2021 NCOY: FirstBank Partners Junior Achievement Nigeria, Reiterates Commitment to Innovation and Education

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For 11 years, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to host its annual flagship event; the National Company of the Year competition (NCOY), which convenes winners of the JA Company Regional Competitions across Nigeria to compete for the National Company of the Year Award.

This year, the event will bring together outstanding ‘student business teams’ across Nigeria to compete for prizes and an opportunity to represent the country at the national competition – JA African Company of the Year Competition (ACOY). The 2021 edition of the NCOY competition will be held virtually via Zoom meetings at 10am on Saturday, 27th November 2021.  Interested participants are to register via the link https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtd-qvqz4pE90NXOHcy-tve6aEXpY_yYAE

The competition themed ‘Innovation with Grit’ will have 12 teams from 12 schools pitch their innovations to a team of 5 guests judges. The represented schools at the competition include: The Seer company from Alvana High School; Sonic Informatics company from Heritage Global Academy; Nexus Queens company from Queens School; JA Stars from Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN); Amazing Amazon Students from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Abaji; KereTerra Company from Secondary School Etoi, Uyo and The Exploit thinkers from Taidob College.

Other teams competing include: Mystic Global Company from Rosa Mystica High School, Agulu;  PetraMech Tech from Petra Schools; The Amazing Inventors from Government Secondary School Tudun Wada; Blue crystal company from Methodist Girls school and the Artisans from Igbobi College.

Judges at the event include: Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking Lagos & West First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Chidimma Juliana Okparah, Project Management Consultant (PMIEF); Sheila Ojei, Head of Communications Jobberman;  Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Simbo Olatoregun, Policy Programs Manager for Facebook in Africa. In attendance also is the Honourable Commissioner for Education Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo as a Special Guest.

The 2021 National Company of the Year Program will also feature SPARK Competition. SPARK as an initiative of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. SPARK reiterates the Bank’s commitment to institutionalise kindness in Nigeria by encouraging and amplifying a culture of kindness.

The SPARK competition will feature 15 finalist schools across Nigeria, whose CSR projects align with the Bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability pillars of Education, Welfare and Health, Financial inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procurement.

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “FirstBank’s partnership under its Future First initiative with JA Nigeria Company programme has positively impacted over 100,000 people in different locations across the country in preparing and teaching them how to generate wealth, effectively manage it and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurial development amongst youths is mainly the driving force behind our support of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) and Africa Company of the Year (ACOY) competitions in past 11 years”.

According to the Executive Director, JAN, ‘’the National Company of the Year Company competition provides our students with a platform to show how innovative they are while displaying their dexterity and grit especially as it relates to creating sustainable business solutions to problems in their immediate community. The students have learned critical skills during the implementation of the Company Programme and we are proud to celebrate them as they compete in the National competition. I would like to specially appreciate FirstBank Nigeria for their continued support and belief in the boundless potential of young Nigerians’’.

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