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PenCom Puts FG’s Pension Liability for 2017 at N113,9233bn



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  • PenCom Puts FG’s Pension Liability for 2017 at N113,9233bn

The federal government’s pension liability for the year 2017, has been put at N113,023,255,000.00 billion, by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

The Commission has also accused Ministries, Departments and Agencies of federal government of being reluctant in ensuring that contractors seeking government’s jobs comply with the law enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007 especially concerning their presentation of compliant certificate for contributory pension scheme and Group Life Insurance.

PenCom Director General, Chinelo Anohu Amazu, who stated this recently in her 2017 budget defence session before the senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service in Abuja, said breakdown of the above figure shows that government owes N72,702,581,000.00 to 16267 million civil servants that are to mandatorily retire in 2017, inclusive of 1,569 who retired before2017 but had not been provided for.

She said government is also owing N19,14,481,00.00 to 9,652 estimated dead workers as well as N21,171,193,000.00 to estimated employees yet to be enrolled by the commission by 2016.

Defending the above government’s indebtedness, Anohu- Amazu stated that pensioners have constitutional rights to periodic review of their benefits.

“Distinguished members of the senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, may wish to note that employees of federal government Treasury Funded MDAs under the provision of Section 173 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) have the right to pension review. Following the federal government’s approval and payment of 15% upward review of pension as a result of the salary review to pensioners under the defunct Defined Benefit (DB) Scheme, retirees under the Defined Contributory (DC) Scheme are also agitating for their rights under the Constitution” she added.

On the part of private sector, she expressed concern about employers who still shirk remitting their employees contributions as well as those who have not set up the scheme.

She expressed regret about the nonchalant attitude of government agencies which are supposed to help to ensure its compliance adding that this is why many seeking to obtain government contracts are not eager to comply.

According to statistics released by the commission, as at March 1, 2017, the commission had issued 2467 compliance certificates to firms that had embraced the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to enable them bid for government’s contracts, just as some applications were rejected because they failed to meet statutory requirements.

According to the commission, with effect from January 2012, private sector employers that comply with the provisions of the PRA 2014 are issued annual Certificates of Compliance, and to qualify, employers are required to submit evidence of remitting contributions to the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) of their employees as well as show evidence of valid group life insurance policy.

PenCom in a presentation to the National Assembly, stressed that few contractors now seek the certificate due to the reluctance of MDAs to ensure contractors seeking government’s jobs complied with the law as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007.

“All MDAs are required to demand for the Compliance Certificate as a requirement for transacting any business with a private sector organisation. Appropriate circulars have been issued to all MDAs in that regard.

“Also, the Commission monitors advertisements for contract by MDA to ensure that the pre-qualification criteria included evidence of compliance with the PRA 2014.

“The main reason for the low number of requests being the reluctance of MDAs to ensure that companies bidding for works have fulfilled their obligations relating to pensions as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007,” it said.

The PenCom boss said that methods deployed by MDAs to avoid complying include: The exclusion of the pension requirement in the advertisement for contractors and/or acceptance of spurious evidence of compliance from the contractors.

She said that in a bid to address the lapses, the commission had agreed with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) that henceforth, only Certificates it issued would be the valid evidence of compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007.

“The Commission undertakes regular advertisement of the requirements for issuance of the certificate and ensure prompt issuance. In addition, the Commission now hosts the compliance status of companies on its website for easy scrutiny and verifications.

“The Commission has been working with the Financial Reporting Council (formerly Nigeria Accounting Standard Board), through a Joint Committee, to include report on compliance with the provisions of the PRA 2014 as part of the disclosure requirements in Audited Financial Statement of all organisations that employ a minimum of three staff,” PenCom said.

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


Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO




As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.

Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.

“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.

“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.

“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.

“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”

However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.

“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.

“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”

Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”

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Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa



Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.

Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.

Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.

Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades.  As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”

Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:

  • Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
  • Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
  • The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
  • International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent

Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.

 Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.

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Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook



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Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand.

Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.95 a barrel at 0057 GMT, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly climbed 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.46 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.

Oil price gains over the past week have been underpinned by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States, but have been capped by concerns over stalled vaccine rollouts worldwide and soaring COVID-19 infections in India and Brazil.

Nevertheless, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tweaked up its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from its forecast last month. It is banking on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.

“It was a welcome prognosis by the market, which had been fretting about the impact the ongoing pandemic was having on demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

Further supporting the market on Wednesday, sources said data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week ended April 9, compared with estimates for a decline of about 2.9 million barrels from analysts polled by Reuters.

Traders are waiting to see if official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday matches that view.

Market gains are being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, are set to bring on more supply from May.

“They may have to contend with rising U.S. supply,” ANZ analysts said.

EIA said this week oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 13,000 bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd.

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