The National Pension Commission (PenCom) remitted the sum of N7.42 billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The latest PenCOm report shows that RSA funds were remitted into 966,155 employees’ accounts, out of 2,044 organisations. The private sector controls the larger proportion of RSA.
According to the report, PenCom received a total of 3,046 applications for the issuance of Pension Compliance Certificates, out of which 2,044 were approved and issued. 1,002 applications were rejected for failing to meet appropriate requirements.
Meanwhile, the report shows that the cumulative number of applications received during the year was 16,536 out, of which 16,100 were approved and issued certificates while 436 were rejected. PenCom reiterated that it continued to apply various strategies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act of 2014.
Transfer of NSITF Contributions to RSA – During the quarter under review, the commission received 1,282 applications for transfer of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) applications totalling N56.78m.
NSITF is one of the foremost social insurance organisations in Africa, founded in 1961 as the National Provident Fund with the mandate to protect employees in the Nigerian private sector who were mostly in non-pensionable employment.
PenCom stated that stated that all applications received were processed and transferred to the RSAs of the NSITF members. From inception to December 2018, N19.64 billion had been transferred to the RSAs of 272,463 NSITF contributors.
Payment of Lump sum benefits to NSITF Members – Similarly, the Commission granted approval to Trustfund for the payment of ₦14.34 million to 377 NSITF members. Thus, from November 2006 to 31 December 2018, ₦2.90 billion had been paid as Lump Sum to 35,562 NSITF Members.
Meanwhile, PenCom further reported that during the period under review, 65 batches of applications were received from Trustfund Pensions on behalf of 378 NSITF members for payment of Lump-Sum Grants.
Significant outstanding pension contributions recovered – In the last quarter of 2018, PenCom maintained that the services of Recovery Agents (RAs) for the recovery of outstanding pension contributions and penalty from defaulting employers.
Specifically, the RAs were mandated to review the pension records of the employers assigned by the Commission with a view to recovering outstanding pension contributions with the penalty.
Therefore, for the period under review, the sum of N365.56 million was recovered by the RAs. This brings the total recoveries made by the Agents from the inception of the exercise in 2012 to date to N15.36 billion, representing the principal contribution of N7.87 billion and penalty of N7.49 billion.
“These amounts have since been credited to the respective RSAs of the employee.”
Pension Contribution Refund to Agencies – According to the report, PenCom processed 240 applications for the refund of pension contributions of Military personnel and Other Security Agencies during the year. Hence, the sum of N157.86 million was refunded to the contributors.
Note that a Tripartite Committee for the Winding Down of the Military Refund was set up in October 2018 to review the entire refund process with a view to ensuring the immediate payment of all outstanding requests.
State Governments continue to make progress in Pension Scheme – The commission indicated that State Governments continued to make progress in the level of implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). As at the fourth quarter of 2018, the number of States that have enacted laws on the CPS stood at 27, while eight (8) States were at the bill stage of implementation.
Private Sector is driving growth in Pension industry – Basically, the pension industry recorded a 1.63 percent growth in the scheme membership during the fourth quarter of 2018, moving from 8.34 million contributors at the end of the preceding quarter to 8.47 million.
According to the PenCom report, the growth recorded in the industry membership was driven by the RSA Scheme, which had an increase of 138,236 contributors representing 1.64 percent.
Further breakdown of the RSA registrations indicated a 0.82 percent (29,455) increase in RSA membership from the public sector during the Q4 of 2018 to stand at 3.6m which represented 42.92 percent of the total RSA registrations.
However, the private sector membership increased by 2.32 percent (108,781) in the quarter under review, which brought total registrations from this sector to 4.8 representing 57.08 percent of total RSA membership. This growth can be attributed to the increased level of compliance by the private sector.
Worrying trends – Nairametrics had earlier reported that one of the reasons for the nearly 326 fold increase in contributions is due to the increase in employees who now contribute to the scheme. Despite the rise, trends in younger contributors are on the decline.
Basically, the way pensions are designed, the younger your contributors the better the pension funds. In the meantime, with the pressure now on those aged 40 years and above to sustain Nigeria’s pension fund industry, the growth in the pension industry remains lopsided.
HealthPlus: More facts emerge as Bukky George reveals she owns 48.9%
HealthPlus insists its founder, Bukky George owns a majority share of HealthPlus Africa Holdings.
HealthPlus says that its founder and former CEO, Mrs. Bukky George, owns 48.9% of HealthPlus Africa Holdings and that she is the only Nigerian registered Pharmacist shareholder and director in the company.
This was revealed in a statement by HealthPlus on Tuesday, in a bid to educate the public on the squabbles going on between it and Alta Semper Capital over the removal of George as CEO, and the appointment of Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.
Nairametrics had reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer. According to the statement earlier released by the company, Okoro’s mission is to optimize day-to-day management and elevate the business to novel scale and profitability, while the founder of the Company, George continues to be a director and a shareholder.
George however, issued a counter press release, denying that she had been removed as MD/CEO. According to her, the press release was not authorized by the company and was therefore false.
Alta Semper, in a follow-up press release, alleged that the decision to remove Mrs. Bukky George “was made in full compliance with Nigerian laws, and follows a long and drawn-out process of engagement,” through which the Board sought to address multiple issues concerning the way the company was being managed.
Health Plus also reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.
In today’s statement, HealthPlus said that it had partnered with Alta Semper Capital LLC UK in 2018 to inject fresh capital to grow the business.
“The investment in HealthPlus was to enable the company to capture the pent up demand for high quality yet affordable medicines … expand the company’s footprint across Nigeria, establish a distribution centre, develop B2B channels and e-commerce.
“Alta Semper undertook to commit $18 million into HealthPlus whilst retaining Mrs. Bukky Geroge as CEO,” the statement partly read.
HealthPlus says that Mrs. George, at the time of the investment, transferred 95% ownership of the business to a new entity called HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited, incorporated in Mauritius, whilst retaining 5% equity to her name.
“HealthPlus Africa Holdings is owned by Mrs. Bukky George (46.2%) and Idi Holdings ( 53.8%), Idi Holdings is Alta Semper’s investment vehicle”
“In essence, Mrs. Bukky George owns (directly and indirectly) 48.9% of HealthPlus and is the only Nigerian registered Pharmacist shareholder and director in the company.”
HealthPlus also said that Alta Semper’s initial $10 million investment achieved several initiatives in its business plan.
“However, it soon appeared that they (Alta Semper) were unable to come up with the balance of the equity investment.”
It argued that in May 2020, after 15 months of delayed funding, unmet expectations and dwindling inventory, “Mrs Bukky George instituted legal action at the Lagos Division of the Federal high Court [in suit No: FHC/L/CS/609/2020] seeking relief aimed at stopping Alta Semper from running and managing the company.”
HealthPlus says after Alta Semper was served the court process, they did not file any defense but appealed for dispute mediation.
It was added in the statement that the mediation was truncated after 3 meetings within a period of 3 months, “Their intransigence frustrated Mrs. George’s other nominee for director and Chairman into resigning from the board”
HealthPlus’ statement cited that the board, now with just 3 directors, had not met in six months and that the last time Mrs. George heard from Alta Semper was when they wrote last week stating her termination as CEO, “which in fact they had no authority or power to do so.”
HealthPlus says Mrs. Bukky George remains the founder and CEO, and continues to run the company.
CBN launches framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria
The CBN in collaboration with EFInA has launched a framework to advance women’s financial inclusion.
The Central Bank of Nigeria on September 29, 2020, virtually launched the framework of advancing women’s financial inclusion. This was disclosed in an online event tagged “Access to Finance Framework for Women” and anchored by Dr Paul Olukpe.
The framework was conceptualized by the Financial Inclusion Special Intervention Working group and developed by the CBN in collaboration with EFInA and Women’s World Banking with input from over 50 stakeholder institutions.
The overarching vision of the framework is for Nigeria to be globally recognized, with an inclusive financial sector that has closed the gender gap by 2024. The framework further itemizes 8 strategic imperatives for driving improved access to finance for women in Nigeria.
In the online event monitored by Nairametrics, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad justified the new initiative by citing EFInA’s last report on financial inclusion in 2018 as a yardstick.
Recall that EFInA 2018 Financial Inclusion report indicated gender imbalance and a clear need to attend to the issue of growing female financial exclusion. For example, the report stated that 40.9% of females were financially excluded as against 32.5% of males. Mrs. Ahmad remarked that perhaps, the figures might even be wider if unattended to especially in this period of crisis.
Mrs. Ahmad urged financial institutions to address structural issues limiting women’s access to finance by understanding and developing products that are specifically tailored to address such issues.
Why this matters
Empirical studies have shown that supporting a stronger role or empowering women is a key enabler in reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth and ensuring sustainable development. Citing ‘’The Power Parity Report by McKinsey’’, the Director of development finance department of CBN, Mr Yusuf Philip Yila, stated that the economic consequences of pursuing gender equality include a potential addition of $28trillion to global annual GDP by 2025.
This framework is a big boost to achieving SDG’s goal of gender equality and Nigeria’s financial inclusion targets simultaneously.
HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing
HealthPlus has made a formal complaint to the Police following its ensuing battle with Alta Semper.
Nigerian Pharmacy Chain, HealthPlus Ltd which is in a battle for control with private equity firm Alta Semper Capital took a new twist as Health plus reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.
In a letter sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police on the 25th of September, HealthPlus stated, “We had the presence of unknown persons around our head office locations.”
The locations stated were 4 HealthPlus branches in Lekki, Lagos.
HealthPlus stated further, “We are aware that there are unauthorized and illegal plans by certain persons to take over our company premises to steal sensitive company property and assets, and ultimately take over operations of the company”
The 4 persons mentioned by HealthPlus are; Zachary Fond and Ivan Genadiev (both Alta Semper Directors), Ernest Eguasa, CFO of company and an unidentified middle-aged white man.
Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data
Niarametrics reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.
However, the announcement set off a chain of allegations and counter-accusations, including online media mudslinging with both sides trying to court public sympathy for who is in control of the company.