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PTAD Pays Pensioners N102.8bn in 15 Months

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pension funds - Investors King
  • PTAD Pays Pensioners N102.8bn in 15 Months

Between January 2018 and March 2019, a total of N102.82bn was paid by the Federal Government through the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department to pensioners in the public sector.

The Executive Secretary, PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this in a speech delivered at the agency’s North Central stakeholders forum on Thursday, in Abuja.

She said that the release of the fund to pensioners was a demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to make life easier for pensioners.

A breakdown of the figure showed that the highest amount of N59.97bn was utilised to fund Parastatal Pension Department in the 15-month period. Out of this amount, the sum of N45.05bn was utilised in 2018 while the balance of N14.92bn was spent in the first quarter of this year.

For Civil Servants Pension Department, the sum of N26.4bn was released during the period made up of N21.21bn for 2018 and N5.19bn for the first three months of this year.

The agency also utilised the sum of N8.64bn for pension payment to Customs, Immigration and Prisons Service, out of which N6.81bn was for 2018 while the balance of N1.84bn was utilised in the first quarter of this year.

For Police pension, the sum of N7.78bn was released, out of which N6.12bn was utilised in 2018 while the balance of N1.65bn was for the first quarter of 2019.

Ikeazor described the 2018 fiscal period as a very busy year for PTAD, adding that the agency had made significant progress in ensuring regular payments of pension to retirees.

She said, “2018 was a busy year at PTAD and we dare say a successful one too. Pension payments have been regular and up-to-date.

“We concluded the Civil Service Pension Department verification and commenced the verification of the Parastatal Pension Department pensioners, starting with the defunct agencies.

“We made significant progress on the payment of the long outstanding 33 per cent arrears, which we are hopeful will soon be a thing of the past.

“Incidents of pension fraud are on the decline as we continue to create awareness and partner with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to arrest and prosecute fraudsters.”

On the issue of minimum wage, she said that once the bill is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, it would also result in an increase in pension payment.

She said, “PTAD is working closely with all relevant agencies of government towards improved turnaround on monthly pension payment.

“The issue of increment will apply automatically once the minimum wage bill is passed into law.”

Ikeazor said that the future plans of the agency would be implemented from three main strategic priorities.

According to her, the areas to be prioritiesed are strengthening of PTAD’s institutional framework using technology; prudent and efficient resources management and sustained optimal pensioner satisfaction.

On the issue of funding, she said, “Funding to address our obligations to all our pensioners is a recurring challenge.

“We will continue to forge ahead as we have done in previous years. We are fortunate to have an administration that identifies with our vision to provide innovative and sustainable pension services to our pensioners.

“It is on this assurance that we have developed our strategic plans for the coming years.”

The Chairman, National Union of Pensioners, Dr Abel Afolayan, called on PTAD to quickly offset the 33 per cent arrears of retirees under the Parastatal Pension Department.

He said that while PTAD had been making efforts to address complaints made by pensioners, such issues were not being addressed speedily.

He commended the Federal Government for putting smiles on the faces of pensioners through prompt release of funds, noting that in his 29 years as a pensioner, he had never had it that good.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said that the meeting had provided a platform for resolution of the grey areas being faced in the payment of pensions to retirees.

Represented at the event by the Director, Legal, Mr Gabriel Christopher, the minister said that the Federal Government would continue to take the issue of pension as a priority.

She commended PTAD on the way it had managed the payment of pension to Federal Government retirees under the old scheme, adding that the strategy had assisted in addressing issues of irregular payment of pension, non-receipt of pension after retirement and pension fraud.

Meanwhile, PTAD said it had concluded arrangements for the Parastatals verification exercise of 104,133 pensioners and next of kin of 270 federal funded parastatals, agencies and institutions under the Defined Benefit Scheme.

The exercise, according to a statement, would take place across the six geopolitical zones and Lagos.

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.

Company News

MicroStrategy Rally Crushes Short Sellers, Wiping Out $1.92 Billion

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MicroStrategy- Investors King

Short sellers betting against MicroStrategy found themselves facing significant losses as the company’s rally wiped out $1.92 billion since March.

This development comes amidst a rally that has seen MicroStrategy’s stock outperform bitcoin, causing a considerable hit to those who had taken a bearish stance on the tech firm.

According to data from S3 Partners, short sellers have been on the losing end since March, as MicroStrategy’s stock surged, highlighting the impact of the rally on those betting against the company’s success.

This loss underscores the challenges faced by short sellers in a market where certain stocks experience rapid and unexpected price increases.

The rally in MicroStrategy’s stock is attributed to several factors, including the approval of several spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier in the year.

This move by the SEC brought bitcoin, a once-nascent asset class, closer to the mainstream and fueled investor interest in companies like MicroStrategy, known for their significant holdings of the cryptocurrency.

MicroStrategy, which held nearly 190,000 bitcoin on its balance sheet as of the end of 2023, has indicated its intention to continue increasing its exposure to the digital currency.

The company’s decision to sell convertible debt to raise money for additional bitcoin purchases further bolstered investor confidence and contributed to the stock’s rally.

Analysts at BTIG noted that the premium for MicroStrategy’s stock reflects investors’ desire to gain exposure to bitcoin indirectly, especially those who may not have the means to invest directly in the cryptocurrency or ETFs.

The company’s ability to raise capital for bitcoin purchases is seen as a positive sign for shareholders, adding to the optimism surrounding its stock.

However, despite the recent rally and optimism surrounding MicroStrategy, the crypto industry as a whole continues to be heavily shorted.

Short interest in nine of the most-watched companies in the crypto space remains high, standing at 16.73% of the total number of outstanding shares, more than three times the average in the United States.

Moreover, concerns persist regarding the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrencies, with some experts suggesting that the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs may not necessarily indicate a broader acceptance of other similar products, such as spot ethereum ETFs.

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Company News

Geregu Power Plc Announces N14.46bn Profit in Q1 2024

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Geregu Power Plc

Geregu Power Plc has announced a profit of N14.46 billion for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

This represents a 307% increase when compared to the same period last year.

The power-generating company, known for its pivotal role in Nigeria’s energy sector, disclosed its outstanding financial results in its interim financial statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday.

This disclosure comes shortly after the firm’s Deputy Chief Executive, Julius Omodayo-Owotuga, hinted at the promising financial outlook during the company’s recent annual general meeting held in Lagos.

According to the interim report, Geregu Power Plc’s revenue surged to N50.42 billion in the first quarter of 2024, representing an increase of 254.37% year-on-year appreciation.

The company’s net finance income transitioned from a negative position to N133.61 million. This positive momentum was supported by a moderation in finance costs, which decreased from N3.141 billion to N2.29 billion as of March 2024.

Speaking to stakeholders at the recent annual general meeting, Femi Otedola, Chairman of Geregu Power, expressed satisfaction with the company’s exceptional financial performance in 2023.

Otedola highlighted the board’s decision to propose a dividend distribution of N8 per share for the 2023 financial year as a testament to their commitment to rewarding shareholders and confidence in the company’s future prospects.

The robust financial results for the first quarter of 2024 further solidify Geregu Power’s position as a leading player in Nigeria’s energy landscape.

The company’s commitment to operational excellence, strategic investments, and adherence to international standards, such as obtaining ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications from the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, underscores its dedication to driving sustainable growth and value creation.

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Company News

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc Records N609.3bn Profit Before Tax in 2023

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GTCO Commemorates Listing on Nigerian Exchange - Investors King

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) has announced a strong profit before tax (PBT) of N609.3 billion for the 2023 financial year.

This represents an increase of 184.5 percent when compared to the previous year.

The audited consolidated and separate financial statements filed with the Nigerian Exchange Group and London Stock Exchange on Monday revealed market capitalization exceeded N1 trillion on the NGX to further solidify GTCO’s position as one of the top financial holding companies in Nigeria.

During the period under review, the group’s post-tax profit rose by 218.99 percent to N539.65 billion from N169.17 billion in 2022.

Key indicators such as loans and advances increased by 31.5 percent to N2.48 trillion, while deposits grew by 63.7 percent to N7.55 trillion.

The group’s total assets and shareholders’ funds closed at N9.7 trillion and N1.5 trillion, respectively.

Despite the challenging economic environment, GTCO maintained a strong capital adequacy ratio of 21.9 percent.

Also, the group sustained asset quality, with IFRS 9 Stage 3 loans improving to 4.2 percent in December 2023 from 5.2 percent in the same period of the prior year.

However, the cost of risk experienced an uptick, rising to 4.5 percent from 0.6 percent in December 2022, largely due to worsening macroeconomic factors.

Despite these challenges, GTCO’s pre-tax return on equity stood at 50.6 percent, while pre-tax return on assets was 7.6 percent. The cost-to-income ratio remained favorable at 29.1 percent.

Commenting on the financial results, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of GTCO, expressed satisfaction with the company’s performance amidst a challenging operating environment.

He attributed the strong performance to the successful implementation of the group’s business model across banking and non-banking business verticals.

“Also important to our success is our relentless obsession with innovation and offering great customer experiences as demonstrated by the successful redesign and upgrade of our mobile banking application, GTWorld,” he stated.

“In a landscape characterised by evolving regulatory reforms, global uncertainties, and heightened competition, we have continued to leverage our inherent strengths and capabilities to unlock significant value, creating more opportunities for the businesses and individuals we serve.

In line with its commitment to shareholders, GTCO announced a final dividend of N2.70k, bringing the total dividend for 2023 to N3.20k.

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