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Pension Funds: Sacked Employees Withdraw N113.2bn

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  • Pension Funds: Sacked Employees Withdraw N113.2bn

The rising number of retrenched employees in the Nigerian labour market continues to impact the size of pension assets as companies strive to cut costs and stay afloat amid growing market uncertainties.

As of June 2019, a total number of 324,141 sacked employees have withdrawn at least N113.2 billion from the N9.3 trillion pension assets, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) stated.

According to PenCom, “approval was granted for the payment of N5.28 billion to 10,673 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement in the second quarter of the year.

“The cumulative total number of RSA holders who were paid benefits for temporary loss of job was 324,141 and were paid a total of N113.21 billion being 25 per cent of the balances of their RSAs as prescribed by the Pension Reform Act 2014.

“A further analysis showed that the private sector accounted for 95.33 per cent of those who benefitted from these payments while the public sector accounted for 4.67 per cent.”

A breakdown of PenCom document also indicated that the private sector accounted for 308,993 of the total sacked workers and collectively they withdrew N107.9 billion from their pension contributions.

The remaining 15,148 workers were from the public sector with the federal government sacking 8,361 staff members while the states set free another 6,787 staff. Together, the sacked public workers withdrew N5.3 billion during the period.

Also, the report showed about 10,673 workers — 10,006 private and 666 public staff — who were sacked in the second quarter of the year (April – June) withdrew N5.2 billion from their pension accounts.

Poor new job creation amid tough business environment continues to weigh on the labour market despite Nigeria’s unemployment rate currently at a record high of 23.1 per cent or 20.9 million of the working population.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently mandated banks to maintain 60 per cent loan-to-deposit ratio in an effort to stimulate growth across sectors and boost job creation.

Experts, however, call for caution, especially with the current headwinds and the central bank not liquid enough to bail out lenders following AMCON failure to recover over N5 trillion previously injected into the economy.

Meanwhile, crude oil rose above the Federal Government benchmark for 2019 on Monday. Presently trading at $62 a barrel after plunging below $60 per barrel stipulated in the 2019 budget.

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.

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Guinness Nigeria Returns to Profitability For the Quarter Ended September 2021

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The financial results of Guinness Nigeria for the quarter ended September 2021 show a return to profitability for the Beverages Giant during the period compared to a loss made in the prior period.

This return to profitability was driven by a huge jump in revenue from N30 Billion in the same quarter of 2020 to N47.4 Billion in 2021, although the cost of sales also increased from N23 Billion 2020 to N32.2 Billion filed in 2021 thereby giving an increase in gross profit from N7 Billion in 2020 to N15.2 Billion in the quarter under review

Guinness Nigeria increased its marketing and distribution expenses during the period, marketing and distribution expenses rose from N4.6 Billion in 2020 to N6.5 Billion in 2021. This led to a huge jump in Operating profit for the period, operating profit jumped from just N586 Million in 2020 to N6.5 Billion in 2021. This culminated in profit for the period rising to N4 Billion from a loss of N841 Million posted in 2020.

The Chairman, Board of Directors of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Dr. Omobola Johnson maintained that the Company will keep up with its growth strategy to continue on its path of profitability. He said “We are confident that our strategy is comprehensive and robust. We are keen on making the right investments that will drive growth across the board and ensure our competitiveness, despite the challenging business environment. We thank our shareholders for their confidence in the Board and Management of our dear company and we are committed to ensuring that we sustain the momentum.”

Guinness Nigeria is the Nigerian subsidiary of the Irish brand Guinness. Its principal activities continue to be brewing, packaging, marketing, and selling of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Guinness Smooth, Malta Guinness, Guinness Gold, Harp Lager, Smirnoff Ice, Satzenbrau Lager, Dubic Malt, Snapp, Orijin Spirit Mixed Drink, Orijin Bitters, Smirnoff Ice Double Black with Guarana, Orijin Zero, and Orijin Herbal Gin, Baileys Delight, Gordons Moringa among others.

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FBNHoldings Renews Adesola Adeduntan Tenure, Appoints Nnamdi Okonkwo as GMD

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Dr. Adesola Adeduntan - FirstBank CEO - Investors King

The Board of FBN Holdings Plc (FBNHoldings) has appointed the immediate past Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc., Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo as its Group Managing Director.

Okonkwo’s appointment takes effect from January 1, 2022.

His appointment followed the retirement of Mr. U.K. Eke, who has completed his two-term tenure.

Uke, according to the board, tendered his Notice of Retirement on August 10, 2021

The Board further announced the renewal of the appointments of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and Mr. Gbenga Shobo as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of FirstBank respectively, for another term.

In the same vein, the Board announced the renewal of appointments of Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe and Mr. Taiwo Okeowo as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited respectively, for another term.

“Uke’s retirement takes effect at the end of the current Financial Year on December 31, 2021. Mr. Eke’s retirement follows from a 35 years’ career in financial services, strategy, auditing, consulting, taxation, process reengineering and capital market operations.

“FBNHoldings Board has also announced that Eke will be succeeded by Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, a focused and result-oriented top banker, who will assume office as Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc effective January 1, 2022,” Seye Kosoko, the Company Secretary said

Okonkwo, the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, brings to bear on the Board of FBNHoldings more than 30 years unbroken banking career spanning local and international experience. He has a wealth of experience in transformational leadership, business strategy development and visioning, innovative corporate governance and risk management.

He has led the transformation of banks, with the most recent being Fidelity Bank, where he led the management team for seven years to achieve remarkable results culminating in tripling profit and shareholder value.

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Are There Better Ways to Help Consumers Tackle Social and Environmental Problems?

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Techniques used by online microfinance platforms to spur user involvement could be useful in helping organisations to persuade people to behave in ways that benefit both society and environment.

Microfinance platforms have popularised the idea that ordinary people can become bankers to the poor. Communities of lenders get together every day to crowdfund microloans to disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs by investing small sums of around only 25 dollars.

A new study digs into the universe of these microloan platforms to investigate how they manage to attract investors and perpetuate their enthusiasm for responding to social problems such as poverty.

Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Southern Denmark have identified two major ways through which platforms maintain and potentiate lending. Their findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Firstly, the platforms assemble resources that function as an ‘apparatus of affirmation’ – providing first-hand evidence of impact that help consumers imagine the benefits of their actions, thereby creating a sense of empowerment.

Secondly, the platforms translate complex and distant social problems, such as poverty, into personal encounters between lenders and borrowers – creating a sense of connection and familiarity via photographs, stories and loan updates. This set of techniques is theorised as the ‘apparatus of relatability’.

Co-author Dr Pilar Rojas-Gaviria, Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Birmingham, comments: “Organisations such as microlending platforms, which strive to mobilise responsible consumers, face two key challenges – overcoming the powerlessness felt when facing daunting problems, and removing a sense of disconnection from ‘faraway’ problems.

“Supplementing the power of ideas and knowledge with personal stories that inspire hope and aspiration, affinity and connection are powerful techniques that could be useful in inspiring consumers to more actively participate in efforts to tackle social and environmental problems, such as climate change.”

Through storytelling, imagery, platform design and communication, the researchers note that online microlending platforms nurture a feeling that genuine change is possible through affordable actions. They also develop a sense of affinity and empathy among potential investors with aspiring micro-entrepreneurs, particularly those from Low-and Middle-income Countries (LMIC).

For example, the platforms publish loan requests to showcase individual borrowers with first names, photographs, and short biographies. This personalised strategy effectively frames microlending as a virtual encounter with a borrower and their story of micro-entrepreneurship. Celebrities, such as actor Natalie Portman, have over the past years helped the microfinance industry to promote microloans as an act of hope that empowers resourceful poor in their efforts to escape poverty.

Co-author Domen Bajde, from the University of Southern Denmark comments: “The advent of online microlending has expanded the pool of potential investors to anyone with internet access and $25 to spare.

“After learning that lenders were more interested in ’emotional returns’ rather than financial profit from their loans, platforms began to dramatise microlending as an act of aspirational hope and affinity toward the entrepreneurial poor.”

The research is also significant for charitable giving, noting that donors are more likely to contribute when they see their donations as a way of empowering the disadvantaged and when donations are experienced as impactful investments.

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