Tag Archives: PenCom

[Nigeria] Uproar in ‘the Senate’ over fresh PENCOM appointment.

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Fresh appointments to fill vacancies in the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) created uproar on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.

Senators across party divides were upset immediately Senate President Ahmad Lawan read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari announcing the nomination of Aisha Umar as the director general of PENCOM.

They alleged that the appointment breached the Federal character principle.

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The letter equally announced Oyindasola Oni as nominee for the office of Chairman of the PENCOM.

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe had risen to protest the appointment in which Aisha Umar, a nominee from the North East, was picked to replace, the former Director-General (DG) of PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, from South East.

He described the nomination as a flagrant breach of the Act establishing the PENCOM.

Abaribe pointed out that by the provisions of Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”

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Senator Abaribe maintained that the replacement for Mrs Anohu -Amazu must come from the South East.

“I recall that the tenure of the incumbent was truncated, therefore the new letter from the president that has now moved the Chairman of the Commission to another zone may not be correct because it is against the law setting up the National Pension Commission,” Abaribe said.

“Before you (Senate President) send it to the appropriate committee, I wish to draw the attention of the committee to it.”

In his response, Senator Lawan rebuffed Senator Abaribe’s point of order and observation.

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“If there is any petition to that effect it should be sent to the committee,” he said.

It was later found out that senators across party divides are set to resist the nomination of Aisha Umar as DG of PENCOM.

One of the lawmakers who pleaded not to be named revealed that the opposition to the contravention of the act establishing the National Pension Commission cuts across the south east, southwest and the North central.

“We are set to meet tonight (Tuesday) to harmonise our positions,” the lawmaker said.

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The lawmaker recalled that move by Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to push for the nomination of Mr. Funsho Doherty from the south west as successor to Mrs Anohu -Amazu as the Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) was frustrated in the past.

“Professor Osinbajo, as acting President could not push it through.

“They threatened him with impeachment and used the lawmakers from the North to block him, citing provisions of the same Pension Act.”

The lawmaker accused the President of the Senate of being a willing tool in the hands of the Presidency in its agenda of promoting the interest of a particular section of the country which he noted was contrary to the Federal Character Principle entrenched in the Constitution.


#Newsworthy…

Irregular payments of benefits causing outstanding accrued liabilities – PenCom blames

…Inadequate NIMC personnel affecting ECRS compliance


The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has said outstanding payment of accrued pension liabilities by the Federal Government to the retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have resulted to delayed and irregular payments of retirement benefits its employees who retired from December 2018 to date.


According to the Commission, under the CPS, retirement benefits consist of Accrued Pension Rights (APR) for past services rendered prior to the commencement of the repealed Pension Reform Act 2004, the monthly Pension Contributions, and investment income accumulated from the commencement of the CPS in 2004.

Specifically, the Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the delay in payment of the accrued rights creates a gap that hinders the consolidation of all components of the retirement benefits, which in turn translates into delayed payment of pension after retirement.


Speaking with The Guardian, she said President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed the Budget Office of the Federation to include the sums of N12.83 billion, N25 billion, and N25 billion in the budgets of 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively to settle the outstanding accrued pension rights of FGN employees.

She said Buhari also directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to ensure that funds are fully released accordingly, and adequate provisions are made subsequently in the annual appropriation for payments of accrued pension rights, and funds released upon approval of Budget.


Meanwhile, Dahir-Umar said the failure of most of the treasury funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to submit their updated nominal roll on time to the Commission, has also affected the timely remittance of monthly pension contributions into their workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA).

Her words: “All treasury funded MDAs that are yet to migrate to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), are required to submit their updated nominal roll twice a year, in January and July, to the Commission.

“The nominal roll facilitates accurate computation of monthly pension contributions of each employee before remittances are made to their respective RSAs. However, most of the MDAs do not submit their updated nominal roll on time to the Commission and this has affected the timely remittance of monthly pension contributions into the RSAs of some FGN employees.”

In his remarks, Executive Director, Premium Pension Ltd., Kabir Tijjani, said operators were aware of a pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari sometime in 2018, saying the government would make funds available to clear pension arrears, including accrued rights within the next few years.


Accordingly, the number of retirees that could not access their benefits in the form of accrued rights has been substantially reduced.He said: “There are still arrears left yet unpaid, but it is not as bad as it was in the past three to five years ago. There is a remarkable improvement, and what is now outstanding is no longer much. We hope that by the end of this year, or going into next year, all arrears in terms of the accrued right would be cleared.”
Meanwhile, Tijjani, said the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which is saddled with the responsibility of issuing National Identification Number (NIN), does not have adequate personnel and presence to attend to the numerous Nigerians that are seeking to get the NIN.

He maintained that it is still a challenge for people to acquire their NIN, which would enable them to enrol for the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS), but expressed the hope for a positive change going forward.

“We got assurances from NIMC that the government is making an effort to fund the agency adequately starting from this year, so that they would be having a number of outlets where Nigerians can go easily and register, but as it is right now, it is still a challenge.

“We don’t expect slow growth as such, but looking at it historically from the time PenCom made it mandatory for people to have NIN before enrolment, the number of enrolment declined, but gradually it is increasing,” he said.On the code of corporate governance, he said it would strengthen corporate governance and how businesses are conducted, risk management, ensure the safety of the pension fund under management, and would also promote good practices among all operators in the industry.


#Newsworthy…

N7tn of N9.99tn pension fund added to FG securities investment


About N7tn of the N9.99tn pension fund assets has been invested in the Federal Government securities by Pension Fund Administrators.

Latest data from the National Pension Commission also showed that the PFAs raised their investment in infrastructure to N40.52bn as of November 30, 2019.

The N7tn invested in the Federal Government securities represents about 70.88 per cent of the total pension fund assets.


The figures are contained in a PenCom report obtained by our correspondents on Tuesday.

An analysis of the data showed that while the Federal Government’s securities took a huge chunk of the pension assets, state government bonds and corporate bonds took the balance of 29.12 per cent.


A breakdown of the figures showed that the highest amount of N4.86tn was invested in the Federal Government bonds alone.

This was followed by N2.1tn investment in Treasury Bills, while investment in Sukuk bond, agency bond and green bonds followed with N78.1bn, N10.82bn and N15.64bn respectively.


The N10.82bn agency bond, according to the commission, was invested in two government agencies, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

The commission in the report stated that the sum of N117.79bn was invested by the PFAs in state governments’ securities.


This is about 1.18 per cent of the total pension fund assets of N9.99tn

For the private sector, an analysis of the report showed that the sum of N535.93bn, representing about 5.36 per cent of the fund, was invested in domestic ordinary shares, while foreign ordinary shares had a total investment of N62.6bn, amounting to 0.69 per cent.


The data also indicated that a total of N40.52bn was invested in infrastructure.

According to the commission, in May 2015, the operators invested N568m in infrastructure and increased this to N1.35bn in December 2015.


It added that the PFAs invested N2.06bn in infrastructure bond in December 2016. The investment rose to N6.86bn in December 2017.

The amount invested in infrastructure as of the end of September 2018 was put at N17.12bn.

Other security instruments where the pension fund was invested are the corporate bonds, N597.45bn, and the supra-national bonds, N4.1bn.

Similarly, the sum of N5.03bn was invested by the PFAs in foreign money market securities; N23.62bn in mutual funds; N224.63bn in real estate; N32.31bn in private equity fund; while cash and other asset investments had N45.14bn


#Newsworthy….

Just In – Pension funds raised to N9.58 trillion – PenCom.

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) yesterday said it has grown pension funds assets to N9.58 trillion as at the end of September 2019.

This is even as the number of registered contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has grown to 8.85 million.

The Acting Director General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said this yesterday at a workshop for Journalists in Benin, adding that the growth, indeed, justifies the commission’s emphasis on the safety of pension funds as the bedrock of sustaining the CPS.

Mrs Dahir-Umar also assured all stakeholders that the pension reform was steadily on course.

She said: “These modest milestones, notwithstanding, the commission and pension operators are committed to actualising the growth potential of the pension industry.

“I am glad to inform you that we have remained focused on concluding some of the pension industry’s transformational initiatives which the commission has been pursuing.”

She explained that the theme of the workshop; “Expanding Coverage of the Pension Industry” describes the Commission’s current strategic focus to expand access to pension via the CPS, as a veritable tool for economic development.

She added that this aligned with the pension reform objective of old age poverty reduction and improvement in the welfare and general standard of living.

“The quest to expand coverage of pension is being pursued through some transformational initiatives especially the Micro Pension Plan”, she stated.

On the micro-pension,

launched in March, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the PenCom boss said it was designed with significant flexibility in recognition of the peculiarities of the targeted population.

She said the MPP, is targeted at the informal sector and self-employed who are not mandatorily covered under the CPS.

#Newsworthy…