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Assets, Contributors Rise Under CPS



pension funds
  • Assets, Contributors Rise Under CPS

Total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme stood at N8.9tn as of the end of February 2019, according to latest figures from the National Pension Commission.

Workers under the scheme stood at 8.5 million in the same period.

The pension industry is a sector specially created to cater to the financial future of workers in their vulnerable age, when they are no longer in paid employment.

It ensures that a retiree continues to receive regular stipends, instead of staying without any salary.

In Nigeria, the CPS was introduced in 2004 by the Pension Reform Act.

Latest figures obtained from PenCom’s 2018 fourth quarter report revealed that the pension industry recorded a 1.63 per cent growth in the scheme membership during the fourth quarter of 2018, from 8.34 million contributors at the end of the third quarter to 8.47 million.

It stated that the growth in the industry membership was driven by the Retirement Savings Account scheme, which had an increase of 138,236 contributors, representing 1.64 per cent.

However, membership of the Closed Pension Fund Administration scheme declined by 71 members (23,332) while the Approved Existing Scheme membership remained unchanged at 40,951.

A breakdown of the RSA registrations indicated a 0.82 per cent (29,455) increase in RSA membership from the public sector during the fourth quarter of 2018 to 3,609,350, which represented 42.92 per cent of the total RSA registrations.

Private sector membership increased by 2.32 per cent (108,781) in the quarter under review, which brought total registrations from the sector to 4,800,834, representing 57.08 per cent of total RSA membership.

PenCom attributed the growth to the increased level of compliance by the private sector as a result of the various steps taken by the commission to improve compliance and coverage, as well as marketing strategies of the Pension Fund Administrators.

The report added that the total monthly pension contribution made by contributors from both the public and private sectors was N5.09tn as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2018.

This showed an increase of N145.41bn, representing 2.94 per cent growth over the total contributions as at the end of the previous quarter.

During the fourth quarter of 2018, the total contributions received from the public sector amounted to N50.03bn (34.41 per cent) while the private sector contributed N5.38bn (65.59 per cent).

A review of the aggregate total contribution showed that N2.56tn or 50.35 per cent of the contribution came from the public sector, while the private sector contributed the remaining 49.65 per cent (N2.53tn).

The aggregate total pension contributions of the private sector increased from N2.43tn as at third quarter of 2018 to N2.53tn as at the end of the reporting period representing a growth of 4.04 per cent.

It added that the aggregate total pension contribution of the public sector increased by 3.21 per cent from N2.51tn to N2.56tn over the same period.

In the report, it stated that many retirees had continued to earn monthly stipends.

The commission approved a total of 4,350 applications for retirement under life annuity during the quarter, bringing the total number of retirees receiving their retirement benefits through the annuity plan to 61,652.

The 4,350 retirees received N8.61bn as lump sum payment and paid premium of N38.91bn to insurance companies and monthly annuity of N260.14m.

This resulted in total lump sum payment of N76.78bn, premium of N328.88bn and monthly annuity payment of N3.26bn as at the end of fourth quarter, 2018..

In the report, the total number of retirees currently receiving their pensions under the programmed withdrawal contracts increased by 4.80 per cent from 191,556 in the previous quarter to 200,747 as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018.

A sectorial breakdown showed that 65.19 per cent of those that received pension under the PW were from the public sector while retirees from the private sector accounted for the remaining 34.81 per cent.

During the quarter under review, the sum of N26.88bn was paid to 9,191 retirees as lump sum and N1.96bn as monthly programmed withdrawals.

The acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the CPS had been very impactful in Nigeria since the commencement of its implementation in 2004.

She said, “The formation of long-term domestic capital, represented by the over N8.74tn worth of pension assets as at January 2019, belonging to 8.46 million formal sector participants, is slowly but surely changing Nigeria’s financial landscape.

“This, by extension, is also transforming the course and pace of our socio-economic development. For instance, N6.51tn, representing 73 per cent of the total pension assets, is invested in Federal Government securities issued to finance various activities of government.

“Thus, in the area of infrastructure alone, the pension funds invested about N95.31bn in the N200bn Sukuk issued by the Federal Government. Similarly, out of the N10.67bn green bond issued by the Federal Government, pension funds invested N7.19bn.”

The President, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Mrs Aderonke Adedeji, said that the micro pension scheme was recently introduced by the Federal Government, and it allowed those in the informal sector to join the CPS.

Before the introduction of the micro pension, she said the informal sector workers did not have the opportunity to have pension accounts.

According to her, there are currently 32 pension operators which comprised of 22 Pension Fund Administrators, six Closed Pension Fund Administrators and four Pension Fund Custodians.

Towards the end of 2018, she said the multi-fund structure was introduced which allowed customers to align their risks profile to their investment portfolio.

She said its investment guidelines had been revised to accommodate the micro pension funds and the non-interest funds, which made the total investment portfolio to rise to six.

According to her, the acceptance level of the CPS had continued to rise among the populace.

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.


Plant Power: Nestlé Launches Dairy Free Milo in Asia



milo dairy free feed

As consumers in Asia are including more dairy alternatives in their diet, Nestlé is launching plant-based versions of some of its most-loved brands in the region.

That now includes a new plant-based version of Milo, the world’s leading chocolate malt beverage that is enjoyed in many Asian countries.

It will be launched in Asia, starting first in Malaysia, a country with generations of Milo fans going back 70 years to its launch there in 1950. Nestlé Malaysia will also be introducing a range of plant-based Nescafé lattes. Both will appear on shelves this April.

Chocolate malt plant-based deliciousness

People are deeply passionate about their Milo, so the development teams worked hard to deliver the ionic Milo taste while using only plant-based ingredients.

This new version replaces the milk in the original recipe with almond and soy, but the other two core ingredients – malt and cocoa – remain the same.

Each bottle offers 6.5 grams of protein and is also low in sugar, with a combination of vitamins and minerals to support effective energy release.

It follows the launch of a plant-based Milo powder in Australia in 2020, a launch that created huge excitement in the country where Milo was first introduced in 1934.

Mayank Trivedi, Head of the Dairy Strategic Business Unit at Nestlé, said: “Milo is an iconic brand in Malaysia and across Asia, and much-loved across generations. We want to provide consumers with on-trend alternatives in formats they want. That’s why we’re delighted to launch Milo Dairy Free to support people’s lifestyle choices.”

A whole ‘latte’ flavor

Nestlé is a pioneer in innovate plant-based coffee mixes, and Nestlé Malaysia is now introducing a plant-based version of another iconic brand – Nescafé oat and almond lattes.

Plant-based coffee mixes are a popular and growing category. Nestlé has already launched them cross a number of countries in Europe, Latin America and Oceania, and most recently launched a range of plant-based Nescafé and Starbucks lattes in Japan.

The Nescafé Dairy Free Almond Latte combines almond and pea, while oat and soy are the main ingredients for the Nescafé Dairy Free Oat Latte. Both are blended perfectly with smooth Nescafé coffee and can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Plant-based discovery

Using its expertise in dairy products and plant-based proteins, Nestlé is focused on developing a wide variety of dairy alternatives that complement the everyday diet of people. This includes products made from pea, rice, oat, soy, coconut and almonds.

“We’re expanding our offerings across Asia by developing a variety of great-tasting, nutritious and sustainable plant-based products.” says Guglielmo Bonora, Head of Nestlé’s R&D Center in Singapore. “We want to make it easier for people to embrace plant-based alternatives in their diet, while also reducing our carbon footprint across the supply chain.”

Nestlé’s R&D center in Singapore serves as the regional innovation hub for the development of plant-based dairy alternatives in Asia. The center collaborates closely with Nestlé’s global R&D network of around 300 scientists, engineers, and product developers who are active in the research and development of plant-based products.

A rising trend

According to a recent survey by GlobalData, over 40% of consumers in the Asia region are shifting to more plant-based diets, with 11% opting for vegetarian and vegan food, and a third moving to a ‘flexitarian’ diet that is lighter on meat and dairy products.

The need for plant-based dairy alternatives that taste great and offer strong nutritionals is rising, as more families are following this trend. In particular, many consumers cite environmental reasons, as plant-based proteins are produced with significantly lower emissions, land- and water usage.

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MoneyGram Advances Payments As A Service Offering With Sigue Partnership



MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, today announced a partnership with Sigue Corporation, a leading U.S. based transnational P2P and B2B payment company. 

The partnership enables Sigue’s U.S. customer base to access MoneyGram’s domestic and international receive network, adding scale to Sigue’s existing global footprint.

“Over the last few years, we’ve built a modern, mobile, and API-driven organization that enables companies to seamlessly plug into our global network to provide expanded services for their customers, and we’re thrilled to announce our latest partner integration with Sigue,” said Alex Holmes,MoneyGram Chairman and CEO.

“Opening our global platform to companies like Sigue enables us to increase payment volumes through our network and process additive transactions. MoneyGram has built an extremely valuable, tech-enabled, and scalable global payments infrastructure that can absorb significant volume at very low marginal cost. As other companies plug into our platform, we have the opportunity to create meaningful processing revenue in the years ahead, and I’m excited about the momentum in the market leading to a strong partnership pipeline.” He added.

The MoneyGram and Sigue partnership is the most recent successful integration in the new MoneyGram as a Service business line. Partnerships such as this expand processing volume by enabling other financial institutions to access the Company’s global payout capabilities through its powerful API-driven infrastructure and best-in-class technology.

“We are very enthusiastic about our partnership with MoneyGram, as it allows us to scale further, quicker and keep our resources free to focus on creating the best money remittance experience in the business. It strengthens our market presence as the world’s leading privately owned remittance business and confirms our credentials as a leading technology innovator for the global money services industry,” said Guillermo de la Viña, Sigue CEO and Founder.

“This reaffirms our commitment to serving millions of families through our secure, reliable, and innovative services, with the dignity and respect our customers demand and deserve. The partnership further enables Sigue to better serve our customers by expanding our commitment to provide the value-added services that our customers and agent base expect, which is the cornerstone of our success.” He added

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CAC Seeks FEC’s Approval to Bar Non-Remitting Entities from Public Contracts



Corporate Affairs Commission

The outgoing Chairman, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Governing Board, and Nigerian Ambassador designate to Spain, Mr. Ademola Seriki, has said the commission is presently seeking the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), to ensure that registered entities do not benefit from government contracts unless they filed their annual returns.

Speaking to journalists during an appreciation dinner in his honour, which was organised by the CAC, he said the adoption of Good Standing Certificate was particularly historic, pointing out that, “most companies don’t pay annual returns and it’s a problem”.

Seriki, however, said he will use his new position to enhance the country’s bilateral trade relations with Spain, adding that a team would be set up to monitor the implementation of trade treaties between both countries.

He said implementation remained one of the greatest challenges affecting Nigeria’s international bilateral relations.

He expressed concerns that people who don’t pay annual returns bid for procurements and contracts, and oftentimes, won in the exercise even though they do not comply with their financial obligations to the government, adding that there was need to put an end to the trend going forward.

He said: “So, we need to pay our annual returns and we have started the issue of Good Standing Certificate which is awaiting FEC approval. It’s going to the president and by God’s grace, I hope it will be approved.”

Seriki, who played a significant role in the current reforms being undertaken at the CAC, also said, the introduction of notification alerts on accounts transactions by the commission remained not only formidable but unprecedented.

He said he would love to see the reforms initiatives actualised to usher a regime of world class services in company registration in Nigeria.

He said: “We did something formidable in the issue of Good Standing Certificate, it has not been done in history because most companies don’t pay annual returns and it’s a problem.

“And you will see a company that would bid for procurements of hundreds of billions of dollars and never paid annual returns in 20 to 30 years.

“In a very civilised country, even in Ghana, I was in Ghana two weeks ago and I met with the registrar general- all companies that have not paid their annual returns, they have to pull down their names and will no longer be valid.”

According to him:”People register companies to buy properties as a matter of hiding their identities from the public – they should be paying annual returns.”

On the alert notifications option, the outgoing chairman, assured that it will stem abuses from unilateral accounts alterations without full consent of interest parties.

He said: “Husband and wife who have being together do fight, either of them will go behind and change the ownership or siblings when their father and mother die, you know all kinds of things. People do a lot of illegalities and they commit such without having to regret it.

“So, when you opt for notification alert, you get a short code, you get a text message and you get email that your file had been tampered with.

“And that way, you are on the alert and you can go back to CAC and say look, I didn’t do this.”
He added: “We have thousands of cases where people change information without the principal owner’s consent or knowledge.”

Seriki, added that as much as he would have loved to see the reforms come into force, his new ambassadorial assignment, “is a higher job for me, it’s a higher assignment of which I believe it will put my name on a good stead.”

Also, in his remarks at the dinner, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, commended the ambassador designate for having a among the staff of the commission, which helped to achieve significant milestones within his one-year duration.

Similarly, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Maryam Katagun, urged Seriki, to make a difference in spain not only in bilateral relations but also pay attention to Nigerians in diaspora.

Meanwhile, the Registrar-General of CAC, Mr. Garba Abubakar, has assured that companies’ registration procedures would be completed within three hours before the end of the year as part of measures to ensure efficient service delivery to the public.

He added that companies’ registration can now be completed without physical presence at the commission’s offices.

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