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Lagos Pays N78.5bn Into Workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts

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  • Lagos Pays N78.5bn Into Workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts

As part of efforts to ensure that workers earn their pensions when upon retirement, the Lagos State Government paid a total of N78.5bn into the Retirement Savings Accounts of its employees as of the end of March.

The Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Oke, stated this during the state’s 38th retirement bond certificate presentation in Lagos on Friday.

“The Lagos State Government has never failed to remit monthly contributions into the Retirement Savings Accounts maintained by its workers with 10 Pension Fund Administrators,” he said.

Oke noted that 311 retirees would have their RSAs credited with accrued pension rights of N1.6bn, made up of gratuity and pension benefits under the Defined Benefits Scheme for employees who transited to the Defined Contributory Scheme during the bond presentation.

The Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, said the state had paid N27.4bn to retirees less than two years.

“In a period of less than two years, from August 2015 to April 2017, the state government through LASPEC, has paid accrued pension rights in the sum of N27.4bn into the RSAs of 6,267 retirees. Accrued pension rights previously paid before the current administration amounts to N33.6bn to 7,409 retirees,” she stated.

Since the commencement of the retirement benefits bond certificate presentation in 2010, she said the state had paid about N61.4bn to over 13,676 retirees/withdrawn staff.

“In addition, the state government through the commission has paid to named beneficiaries of deceased employees insurance benefits of N12.5m for the month of April. This brings the total of death benefits to N182.5m from August 2015 to date,” Onanuga explained.

The LASPEC boss informed the retirees of the two exit options for receiving their monthly pensions, which are programmed withdrawal and annuity.

She enjoined all the beneficiaries to take good care of their health and physical well-being as well as desist from frivolous spending.

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.

Business

Economists Evaluate Nigeria-China Currency Swap

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Some Financial Economists have expressed great concerns about the minor influence that the Nigeria-China currency swap had on the country’s economy, three years after.

The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the volume of currency import so far traded had not been significant, though a few swaps took place.

The pact which marked three years of implementation in April was signed on April 27, 2018, to ease demand pressure on the country’s supply of foreign exchange.

The Chief Executive Officer of Arvo Finance, Mr. Ayotunde Bally, said that the pact had not been fully utilised due to a decrease in the drawdown of the money input of the Chinese Yuan to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“This pact which was aimed at creating a harmonious relationship between the two countries has not been utilised as it ought to be. Statistics have it that Nigeria-China bilateral trade which was around 2 billion dollars in 2002 is within the space of about 14 billion dollars in contemporary years. And yet, we cannot boast of about three billion dollars Yuan being utilised in such market transaction,’’ he said.

According to Bally, that has clearly displayed the negligence of the pact by most business importers

He said the poor state of the pact was due to ignorance and the benefits of the pact to those who utilise it.

“Also, the deliberate avoidance of the pact by those who believe transactions are easier with dollars or some other methods like Bureau De Change among others. Even those who know about the pact but avoid it, indicating that it is not lucid and that the regulations and procedures are rigid to them,” he told NAN.

He advocated massive sensitisation on the usefulness of the pact to both the business individuals and the country at large.

Mr. Johnson Chukwu, Founder of Cowry Asset Management Limited, also said that the pact recorded minimal benefit to the economy.

“If you look at our demand for foreign exchange particularly for imports, you will observe that we still have pressures coming from import demand. China is our biggest trading partner and our largest import market.

“We bought more products from China than any other country in the world. So, if the currency swap has been very significant, then the pressures we are witnessing on the balance of trade would have been abated.

“So, I do not think the volume of currency import has been significant. Certainly, there must have been a few swaps that have taken place since then but it is clearly not significant because if it was, it would have reflected in our balance of trade,” Chukwu said.

According to him, China accounts for more than 25 percent of our imports; so we should not have a currency swap that delays immediate payments of our foreign reserves.

Also, Prof. Ndubisi Nwokoma, Director, Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research (CEPAR), University of Lagos, said that the swap deal had a positive impact on the naira exchange rate with major currencies.

“The Nigeria-China currency swap deal, according to reports, has some positive impact on the stability of the naira exchange rate with major currencies. But, its effect is limited by the volume of trade between Nigeria and China.

“With the decline in global productivity occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, the effect appears not to have achieved the originally intended objectives.

“Nigeria has been bedeviled by other economic challenges. The current sorry state of the country’s exchange rate is quite instructive in this regard,” Nwokoma said.

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Unilever Nigeria to Create New Company For Tea Business

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Unilever Nigeria Plc announced on Friday that its Board of Directors had approved the steps required to implement the separation of its tea business in Nigeria.

The approval on April 30, 2021, followed the announcement made on Feb. 25 about Unilever Nigeria’s planned separation of its tea business as part of the global separation, according to a statement obtained from the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

The company noted that on 23 July 2020, following the completion of a strategic review, Unilever Plc announced its intention to separate its global tea business, including the retail and food solutions businesses, plantations, T2 and Pukka.

It said, “Subject to approval by the company’s shareholders and any regulatory approvals, the Nigeria Tea Business will be transferred to a newly incorporated tea company in Nigeria (New TeaCo), held under a newly incorporated tea holding company to create a dedicated tea group within the Unilever Group (TeaCo Group).

“The assets being transferred by Unilever Nigeria Plc to New TeaCo include production assets and other tangible assets used exclusively in relation to the tea business; distribution rights to tea products in Nigeria and export markets; and locally owned unregistered intellectual property rights.”

According to the statement, Unilever Nigeria will retain ownership of the site at Agbara.

“Unilever and Unilever Nigeria Plc will also provide certain intercompany services to the New TeaCo and the TeaCo Group for a transitional period,” it said

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Appointments

Nigerian Breweries Picks Hans Essaadi to Replace Borrut Bel as MD/CEO

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Nigerian Breweries, the largest brewing company in Nigeria, has appointed Mr. Hans Essaadi as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective 31st, July 2021.

Mr. Essaadi will replace Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel, the current Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries who will be completing his tenure on the 30th of July, 2021.

Mr. Borrut Bel is expected to take up another assignment within the Heineken Group, hence why the Board accepted his letter of resignation.

Mr. Hans Essaadi Profile

Mr. Essaadi, is currently the Managing Director of Al Haram Beverages, the HEINEKEN Operating Company (“OpCo”) in Egypt and joined the HEINEKEN Group as a Sales Representative in 1991.

He subsequently took up increasingly senior roles within the Group in Sales, Export and Marketing. He commenced his international career with HEINEKEN Puerto Rico as the Country Manager, and thereafter became the General Manager, Brau Union International, the HEINEKEN OpCo in Austria.

Before his current role in Egypt, he was General Manager, Siroco (the HEINEKEN Joint Venture with the Emirates in Dubai) and Managing Director, HEINEKEN Malaysia Berhad, a listed company in Malaysia.

The Board is pleased to have a person of Mr. Essaadi’s experience and knowledge to take up the position of Managing Director/CEO of the Company and to continue the turnaround work started by Mr. Borrut Bel.

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