- PenCom Stops Death Benefits Account For Employees
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has announced that Death Benefits Account (DBA) will be stopped for deceased employees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) with effect from the 1st of February 2020.
In a public noticed issued, PenCom directed all the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to stop the opening of DBAs from the 31st of January 2020.
According to the Commission, Section 11(1) of the PRA 2014 mandates every eligible employee to maintain a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with the Pension Fund Administrator of his/her choice.
PenCom further noted that the Act also mandates every employer to open a nominal RSA within six months of assumption of duty for the employee who fails to open an RSA in accordance with section 11(5) of the PRA 2014.
“Employers are therefore required to ensure that RSAs are opened for all their employees,” the Commission noted.
PenCom explained that “prior to the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, Death Benefits Account (DBA) was used by legal beneficiaries to access the benefits of the deceased employees who did not open RSA during their lifetime. However, pursuant to the above-cited statutory provisions, this practice is no longer valid.”
Part of the notice reads: “Accordingly, the general public is hereby notified that the processing of DBA for death benefits claims would be discontinued with effect from 1 February 2020.
“All PFAs have been directed to stop the opening of the DBAs with effect from 31 January 2020.”
“The National Pension Commission reiterates the need for all employees to ensure that they open RSAs with any PFA of their choice. A list of licensed PFAs can be found on the Commission’s website,” PenCom stated.
The Pension Reform Act 2004 established the PenCom as the body to regulate, supervise and ensure the effective administration of pension matters in Nigeria.
The PenCom is vested with the responsibility to ensure that every person who worked in either the Public Service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory or Private Sector receives his retirement benefits as and when due.
In order to reduce old-age poverty, PenCom also assists individuals by ensuring that they save to cater for their livelihood during old age and make sure pensioners are not subjected to untold suffering due to inefficient and cumbersome process of pension payment.
Association of Aircraft Pilots Goes After Bristow, Air Peace, Gives Them Two Weeks Ultimatum
NAAPE Gives Bristow, Air Peace Two Weeks Ultimatum to Reverse Action
The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has issued a two-week ultimatum to Airlines, which have sacked or planning to sack their Pilots and Engineers, to reverse the action or they would withdraw their service across all Airlines.
Earlier in the week, shortly after NAAPE directed all its members working with Bristow to discontinue their service, the management of Bristow Helicopter immediately announced it would sack about 100 pilots and engineers over a period of few weeks to better manage its weak financial position caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was made on the same day, Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier, disclosed that it would also be letting go about 70 pilots due to a similar reason.
Comrade Abednego Galadinma, the President, NAAPE, who spoke on the situation at a press conference held at Airport Hotel in Ikeja Lagos, said: “We demand that Bristow and Air Peace should immediately recall all sacked Pilots and Aircraft Engineers until all labour issues are resolved or be grounded by NCAA because of attendant safety concerns created by their action.
“As a result of the known consequences of these illegal actions and our commitment to patriotic fervour, we shall be forced to withdraw our guarantee of industrial peace within the industry if this call is not heeded within two weeks.
”Our union will be left with no other option but to withdraw the services of Pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers across all the airlines.’’
Galadinma added that some of the airlines were operating during the lockdown which means the COVID -19 which they are using as an excuse did not affect revenue from essential services like oil and gas.
It would be recalled that Bristow Helicopter had blamed its decision on the disruption of services in the oil and gas sector.
Therefore, Galadinma said “Operators especially Bristow Helicopters have rendered our members redundant despite assurances by government of support for their businesses in return for operators not laying off staff.
“These operators are already running on lean manpower with disproportionate number being expatriates yet, without regards to our expatriates and local content laws and executive order (5) they gave gone ahead to lay off staff under the guise of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“And they cannot be using COVID-19 as an excuse because the cessation of flight operations did not affect essential services like the oil and gas and Bristow and Caverton were operating during the lockdown. In fact, you’d recall that our members were held by the Rivers State Government during the lockdown, so how can they be using COVID-19 as an excuse.
”it is on record that Bristow Helicopters operated throughout the lockdown supporting oil and gas operations with government approval and guarantees service contracts in the same national interest but are now using COVID-19 to force redundancy on our members.
CACOVID, Dangote Announce Palliative for Families Across Nigeria
CACOVID to Provide Palliative for Families Across Nigeria
The Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID-19) led by the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Thursday announced they will be flagging off a palliative scheme for families across the nation.
According to a statement released through the Group official Twitter handle @cacovidng, each family that benefits from the palliative scheme would receive below food items.
The statement reads “At the moment, we’re flagging off the palliative scheme across the country. For every family that benefits from the scheme, we will be handing over the below essential food materials.
“We have Isolation Centers functional across all 36 states of the country, equipped with state of the art equipment that will cater for everybody who comes down with COVID19. These facilities are stocked with the essential tools to aid the management of the pandemic.
“CACOVID is majorly comprised of private sector individuals, with the aim of serving as a buffer for the effects of the pandemic. With this in mind, we can assure that there are no political affiliations needed to benefit from the Palliatives scheme.”
The statement noted that the allocations were agreed upon by the Nigerian Governors Forum but the allocation itself is presently being carried out by the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Group partner.
“To balance our efforts and ensure efficiency, we’re still running a sensitization campaign to make sure everyone understands that COVID19 is deadly, not propaganda and can infect anybody,” CACOVID-19 stated.
Bristow Plans to Sack 100 Pilots, Engineers in Few Weeks
Bristow to Sack 100 Pilots, Engineers Amid Strike
Embattled Helicopter company, Bristow Helicopter, on Tuesday announced its decision to sack 100 pilots and engineers in the next couple of weeks due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on all its operations.
The announcement was made a day after the company’s engineers and pilots embarked on strike following the failure of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers to reach an agreement with the management of Bristow Helicopter on labour matters.
In a statement released On Tuesday through Topcom, a public relations firm representing the company, Bristow said COVID-19 has affected all its business units, especially the Oil and Gas sector.
In the statement titled ‘Bristow Restructures Nigeria Operation,’ the Helicopter Company said downturn going on in the global oil and gas sector impacted the company’s ability to respond to Pilots and Enginers’ request for salary upgrade from N345 per US dollar exchange rate to N355/us$.
Bristow’s statement read “The combined effects of these ‘arisings’ have resulted in very significant reductions to our business particularly a reduction in the number of contracted aircraft in Nigeria.”
Due to these challenges, “Bristow has made the decision to restructure all aspects of its business model (both rotary and fixed wing), including an extensive review of its operation and will continue to drive efficiencies with zero compromise to safety and core value.”
While this might be another trick or strategy not to shift ground regarding the request of pilots and engineers that commenced strike on Monday after three-days warning, Bristow appears to be playing its card right. Capitalising on COVID-19 challenges, especially after Air Peace announced it would be letting go 70 pilots due to the same reason.
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