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Pensions: States Failed to Remit N3.4bn Deducted From Workers’ Pay, Says PenCom

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  • Pensions: States Failed to Remit N3.4bn Deducted From Workers’ Pay, Says PenCom

States operating the Contributory Pension Scheme refused to remit about N3.4bn pension contributions deducted from their workers monthly remunerations into their respective Retirement Savings Accounts with their Pension Fund Administrators.

The acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed this during the second quarter consultative forum for states in Lagos on Wednesday.

The forum was attended by pension compliance officers and other stakeholders from different states and pension fund operators’ offices.

She also said that N8.09bn was remitted as pension contributions in the first quarter of 2019.

Dahir-Umar said, “Based on PFAs’ returns, over N3.4bn pension contributions are uncredited into state employees’ RSAs as of May 31, 2019, and the age analysis showed that over 38 per cent of this amount had been outstanding for over one year.

Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the Head, States Operations Department, PenCom, Dan Ndackson, said a major item, which should occupy a pride of place during deliberations, was the recurring issue of uncredited remittances, which denied concerned employees the investment income that should have accrued to them.

She added that it was heart-warming to observe the steady progress of the implementation of the CPS in the states, especially with regards to the remittance of pension contributions.

“Returns submitted to the commission by the PFAs showed that over N8.09bn was remitted to them as pension contributions of state employees in the first quarter of 2019,” she said.

The PenCom boss informed that the second quarter had recorded remarkable achievements in ensuring seamless implementation of the CPS in states.

In this regard, she said the commission, as part of its mandate of supervising the smooth implementation of the CPS and to ensure excellent service delivery, especially in state pension administration, introduced branch inspection of PFAs in states.

Dahir-Umar reported that the commission had so far conducted three of such branch inspections in Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states.

“As more inspections of PFA branches are upcoming, the commission is currently utilising the outcomes of these inspections in ensuring that PFAs take the necessary remedial actions to ensure excellent service delivery in the pension industry,” she said.

She added that the commission’s collaboration and concerted efforts with various states had led to significant in-roads in the areas of stakeholder engagement, capacity development and implementation milestones.

Notable among the many achievements within the second quarter were the meetings held with the governors-elect (now governors) of Lagos and Bauchi states, she mentioned.

Dahir-Umar said, “We are also pleased to note the giant stride taken by the Benue State Government recently by enacting the Benue State Pension Reform Law 2019, in May 2019.

“Besides joining the league of states that have commenced the process of implementing the CPS, the Benue State Law incorporated all the observations made by the commission in the draft bill before passage into law.

“We are, therefore, confident that with this sound and sustainable legal framework in place, Benue State’s implementation will not face major challenges.”

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.

Economy

IMF to Review Nigeria’s Growth Forecast Amid Destruction of Businesses, Properties

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IMF Says it May Review Nigeria’s Growth  Amid Recent Development in the Country

Following the destruction of businesses and properties that trailed the #EndSARS protest, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it may review the nation’s growth forecast in view of the new development in the country.

Abebe Selassie, the Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund, made the statement while responding to questions during a virtual IMF press conference on the economic outlook of Sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday.

According to him, the protest is difficult given that Lagos is a very important economic hub and contributes to the overall Nigeria activities.

Selassie said, “On the growth projections in Nigeria, I mean, these protests happened of course, after we had closed, after the period where the data we looked at in making the growth projections for this economic outlook.

“And much will depend really on how these protests evolve.

“Lagos of course, is a very important economic hub and contributes quite a bit of economic activity to overall Nigeria activities.

“So, if these persist and are showing significant effects on economic data, we will internalise them in due course.”

He further explained that the nation’s economy had been a difficult one in the last four years ever since oil prices plunged in 2015-16.

He said, “I think this is exactly why we have been on the record in Nigeria about how really critical it is to get all of the policy induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth.

“For the government to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential.

“So, I think that development agenda that Nigeria has, I think, has to be tackled with gusto and vigor so that the millions of jobs that the country needs can be created.”

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Economy

Oil Marketers Lose Millions as Hoodlums Set Petrol Tankers on Fire

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Oil Tankers Burnt by Hoodlums as Marketers Lose Millions to Protest

Oil marketers lost millions of Naira to repeated attacks by hoodlums exploiting the #EndSARS protest.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria on Thursday said hoodlums have been attacking their trucks since they hijacked the protest earlier in the week.

The association said three petrol laden trucks were burnt again on Thursday in Warri, Delta State.

This came as the Board of Trustees of the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords Association of Nigerian urged protesters across the country to sheathe their swords as the destruction of oil assets and others had become alarming.

Chief Chinedu Ukadike, the Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, who spoke in Abuja said three petrol tankers with petroleum products estimated at about N90 million were set on fire on Thursday.

He said, “The protesters are burning our petrol trucks as we speak right now in Warri. They are burning three trucks. The cost or value of the content in those trucks is about N90m.

“That is outside the worth of the trucks that are being burnt. This is why we asked our tanker drivers to park or temporarily halt the movement of products.”

Ukadike said the association decided to halt the movement of petroleum products on Wednesday to avert a further disaster that could arise attack of oil tankers by angry protesters.

That advise on the temporary halt of tankers movement was vital, particularly for volatile locations where protesters are highly aggressive. So that is what is happening now in Warri, the petrol trucks of oil marketers are being burnt,” he stated on Thursday.

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Economy

LCCI Says FG Loses N700bn to #EndSARS Protest in 12 Days

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Nigeria Loses Over N700 Billion to #EndSARS Protest in 12 Days

The Federal Government lost over N700 billion to the #EndSARS protest in twelve days, according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, the President, LCCI, disclosed this while reviewing the economic implications of the just ended #EndSARS protest.

Mabogunje, who appreciated the value of citizens engagement and the demand for accountability which the protest represents, lamented the negative effect on the nation’s economy.

She said, “These are in consonance with democratic norms. They also form vital ingredients for good governance.

“LCCI is however concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country.

“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.

“The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated seven hundred billion naira (N700 billion) loss in the past twelve days.”

She further said the protest has reawakened the need to reform the shortcomings in the nation’s political governance, however added that to protect livelihoods of Nigerians, including business community, the protesters need to move to next stage of civic engagement.

This is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways. These actions have been at great cost to the economy and the welfare of Nigerian citizens. It should be noted that our economy is still reeling from the shocks of the Covid 19 Pandemic and struggling to recover from its devastating effects,” she added.

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