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NBS: Pension Fund Assets Grow by N332bn in 3 Months

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  • NBS: Pension Fund Assets Grow by N332bn in 3 Months

The pension fund assets under management increased by N332 billion to N7.164 trillion in the third quarter of this year, from N6.832 trillion in the second quarter, the National Bureau Statistics has revealed.

The NBS, which released its Pension Asset and Membership Data (Q1-Q3 2017) report at the weekend, also disclosed that 7,710,564 workers were registered under the pension scheme in the quarter under review compared to 7,589,936 registered workers in Q2. This showed a growth of 120,628 workers.

The pension fund assets were invested in various asset classes by approved existing scheme (AES), closed pension fund administrators, retirement savings account (RSA) active fund as well as RSA retiree fund.

A breakdown of the total pension assets revealed that with N4.339 trillion, RSA active fund formed the largest chunk of the lot, while CPFAs which stood at N895.811 billion trailed it, followed by AES with N696.309 billion and RSA retiree fund, N484.026 billion.

Further breakdown showed that the pension fund assets were held in asset classes namely, domestic ordinary shares and foreign ordinary shares; FGN securities; local money market securities, open/close-end funds and real estate properties. Others are private equity fund, infrastructure fund and cash & other assets.

Pension fund investment in FGN Bonds had the highest weight of 54.09 per cent of the total assets and was followed by the one in treasury bills with 17.73 per cent. While domestic ordinary shares represented 8.66 per cent of the total pension assets, foreign ordinary shares accounted for 1.41 per cent. Infrastructure funds had the least with 0.07 per cent weight.

In the FGN Securities asset class, investment in agency bonds-NMRC and FMBN bonds- represented 1.30 per cent, while state government securities were 2.29 per cent of the total. Others in that category were the corporate debt securities and supra-national bonds accounting for 3.98 per cent and 0.19 per cent, respectively of the total assets.

For the local money market securities, pension assets with the banks were 5.56 per cent, while investment in commercial papers and foreign money securities accounted for 0.47 per cent and 0.34 per cent, respectively of the total.

Apart from the Real Estate Investment Trust Scheme (REITS), which attracted 0.16 per cent of the pension fund assets, real estate properties gulped 3.45 per cent of the total.

While private equity fund took 0.27 per cent of the assets, cash and other assets accounted for 0.19 per cent of the total. Similarly, during the third quarter, participants within the age distribution below 40 years had the highest percentage composition, closely followed by participants that were less than 30 years and within the age bracket of 40-49 years. The participants above 60 years had the least percentage composition.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

Nigerian Ports Authority Secures $700m Loan from Citibank for Lagos Ports Rehabilitation

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has successfully secured a $700 million loan from Citibank to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Lagos ports.

The finance was facilitated by the UK Export Finance to revitalize the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports, two pivotal gateways for maritime trade in Nigeria.

The announcement was made during a signing ceremony held in Lagos, marking a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s efforts to modernize its port infrastructure.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the NPA, expressed optimism regarding the prompt commencement of the reconstruction efforts following the finalization of the funding agreement.

The rehabilitation project is expected to address longstanding challenges faced by the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports, including congestion, inadequate infrastructure, and operational inefficiencies. By modernizing these key maritime hubs, Nigeria aims to bolster its trade capabilities, enhance port efficiency, and stimulate economic growth.

Speaking at the ceremony, Bello-Koko highlighted the strategic significance of the Citibank Facility, citing its favorable terms and affordable interest rates as key advantages for the NPA.

Bello-Koko outlined the NPA’s broader strategy to upgrade port facilities beyond Lagos, with discussions underway to secure additional funding for the enhancement of Eastern Ports such as Calabar, Warri, Onne, and Rivers Ports, as well as the reconstruction of Escravos Breakwater.

The collaboration between the NPA and Citibank underscores the importance of public-private partnerships in driving infrastructural development.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting the NPA and the Federal Government in bridging the infrastructural gap.

Samuel-Ogbu commended the NPA’s strategic initiative and underscored Citibank’s dedication to facilitating the project’s success.

 

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Banking Sector

UBA Announces Final Dividend of N2.30 per Share for FY 2023, Totaling N95.8 Billion

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UBA (United Bank for Africa) shareholders are set to receive dividends as the bank announces a final dividend of N2.30 per share for the fiscal year 2023.

This translated to a total payout of N95.8 billion, more than the N37.6 billion paid out in 2022.

Despite the robust increase in dividend payments, UBA’s dividend payout to profit after tax (PAT) ratio experienced a decline of 6.3 percentage points, dropping from 22.1% in 2022 to 15.8% in 2023.

Shareholders will receive the dividends based on their shareholdings as of the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024. The payment is scheduled for May 24, 2024.

UBA urges shareholders who have not completed the e-dividend registration process to obtain the E-Dividend Mandate Form to ensure a smooth disbursement process.

The bank’s unclaimed dividends increased to N14.9 billion in 2023, an 18% increase from the previous year.

The bank reported a profit after tax of N607.7 billion, representing a 257% increase from the N170.3 billion recorded in 2022. This increase in profitability includes a net FX revaluation gain of N26.6 billion.

However, it’s worth noting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive prohibits banks from utilizing FX revaluation gains for dividends payment or operational expenses.

Shareholders are advised to complete the e-dividend registration process or contact the registrar, Africa Prudential Plc, for assistance regarding outstanding dividend warrants or share certificates.

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President Tinubu Launches National Single Window Project

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the National Single Window Project to streamline trade processes and combat bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The initiative promises to unlock significant economic benefits and bolster Nigeria’s position as a global trade leader.

Addressing stakeholders at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja, President Tinubu outlined the transformative potential of the Single Window Project.

He explained that Nigeria stands to gain approximately $2.7 billion annually by implementing the initiative, while also saving an estimated $4 billion lost to inefficiencies and corruption plaguing the trade sector.

The National Single Window Project, codenamed a digital trade compliance initiative, will serve as a cross-government website facilitating trade by providing a unified portal for Nigerian and international trade actors.

This centralized platform will offer access to a full range of resources and standardized services from various Nigerian agencies, promising to expedite cargo movement and optimize inter-African trade.

President Tinubu’s directive to dismantle obstacles hindering trade efficiency reflects a commitment to fostering a transparent, secure, and business-friendly environment.

He underscored the urgency of eliminating red tape, bureaucracy, delays, and corruption at Nigerian ports, asserting that the economy cannot afford to sustain such losses.

The President’s call to emulate success stories from countries like Singapore, Korea, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia highlights the transformative potential of the Single Window system.

By joining the ranks of nations that have significantly improved trade efficiency through similar initiatives, Nigeria aims to unlock new avenues for economic growth and prosperity.

Tinubu stated that the National Single Window Project transcends Nigeria’s borders, presenting opportunities for regional integration and inter-African trade optimization. By linking Nigeria’s system with those of other African nations, the initiative seeks to expedite cargo movement and enhance trade facilitation across the continent.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Bello Koko, provided insights into the practical implications of the Single Window initiative.

He affirmed that imports would be cleared at all seaports within 24 hours, a significant improvement compared to neighboring countries where clearance often takes up to 72 hours.

Koko outlined how the initiative would streamline paperwork, enhance information sharing among government agencies, and foster greater efficiency in trade transactions.

With representatives from key government agencies and bodies forming the project secretariat, the National Single Window Project reflects a collaborative effort to drive comprehensive reform in Nigeria’s trade sector.

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