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Business News

Pension asset increases to N9.33 trillion – PenCom

PenCom has disclosed that the worth of pension assets has increased from N7.44 trillion in January 2019 to N9.33 trillion as at the end of June 2019.

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PenCom, unremitted pensions, Lagos State Pension Commission, LASPEC, Pension Fund Assets, PFAs make N1.69 trillion ROI  

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that the worth of pension assets increased from N7.44 trillion in January 2019 to N9.33 trillion as at the end of June 2019.

Speaking at a one-day workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the commission’s Acting Director-General, Aisha Dahir-Umar, attributed the rise to the support from the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and labour.

Dahir-Umar, who was represented at the event by Salihu Bwala, explained that PenCom was able to recover N16 billion unremitted pension contributions from various employers of labour in the last seven years.

“The pension industry is one of the fastest-growing industry in the country with the support of the OPS  and labour. The contributory pension scheme plan currently has over N9 trillion pension assets. This feat could not have been achieved without the support of the OPS,” Dahir-Umar said.

[READ MORE: Pension Fund Assets hits N9.3 trillion as investment in FGN securities drops]

Breakdown: According to the commission, the Federal Government’s securities took the lion-share of the investment as it received over N6.51 trillion, representing 72.9% of the total assets. Specifically, the Federal Government’s bond got N4,458,806.38 of the funds, representing 49.37% of the total assets while N1.94 trillion was invested in treasury bills (21.44%); N11.96 billion in Agency Bonds (NMRC & FMBN), (0.13%); N94.11 billion in Sukuk (1.04%) and N8.51 billion in Green Bonds, (0.09%).

Nigerian Pension Fund

The commission also said in line with the Multi-fund structure, Retirement Saving Account (RSA) Fund 1, witnessed N12.73 billion investment and RSA Fund 11, recorded N3.99 trillion investment, RSA Fund 111, saw N2.15 trillion investment while RSA Fund IV, recorded N732.13 billion investment.

Furthermore, the report showed that N596.61 billion, which was 6.54% of the funds, was invested in domestic ordinary shares while N62.59 billion, amounting to 0.69% was invested in foreign ordinary shares.

Similarly, while N144.31 billion (1.60%) was invested in state government’s securities, corporate bonds got N463.99 billion (5.4%); corporate infrastructure bonds received N8.64 billion, (0.10%); corporate green bonds N5.46 billion(0.06%); supra-national bonds got N5.37 billion (0.06%); local money market N874.39 billion (9.68%); commercial papers N64.46 billion (0.71%); banks – N809.94 billion (8.97%).

[READ MORE: Nigeria’s pension contributors add N186.43 billion to pension asset]

Others were REITS – N14.27 billion, (0.16%); Foreign Money Market Securities – N22.54 billion (0.25%); private equity fund -N32.34 billion, (0.36%), Real Estate Properties – N231.37 billion (2.56%); infrastructure funds N29.40 billion, (0.33%) and cash & other assets N25.16 billion, (0.28%).

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Business News

Labour set for showdown with FG, rejects plan to reduce salaries

The NLC president demanded an increase in the remunerations and allowances of Nigerian workers.

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Minimum wage, NLC, Looting by former governors blocks excuses for new minimum wage 

The Organised Labour appears set for a showdown with the Federal Government as they have condemned and rejected the government’s plan to cut down salaries of Nigerian workers.

This follows the recent statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, in which she revealed the Federal Government’s plan to reduce the cost of governance by cutting down workers’ salaries.

This disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Waba, on Wednesday in Abuja, in which he expressed shock and noted that the plan was tantamount to a mass suicide wish for Nigerian workers.

What the NLC President is saying

Waba in his statement said, “The minister also allegedly directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), to immediately review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies in the country.

It is most unthinkable that the government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time.

He added that “The question to ask is which salary is the government planning to slash? It certainly cannot be the meager national minimum wage of N30, 000, which right now cannot even buy a bag of rice.”

The NLC President said that he believed the proposed salary slash was certainly not targeted at the minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries that some state governors were still dragging their feet to pay.

He said that the multiple devaluations of the Naira in a short time, and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria had negatively impacted on the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across the board.

He said, “Nigerian workers are only surviving by hair’s breadth. Indeed, Nigerian workers are miracles strutting on two legs.

“It is, therefore, extremely horrendous for a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pronounce salary slash for Nigerian workers currently. This call for salary slash by Mrs Zainab Ahmed is tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish, for Nigerian workers.”

While demanding an immediate retraction and apology by the Minister of Finance, the NLC president, however, said that if there was any salary that needed serious slashing, it was the humongous remuneration and allowances pocketed by political office holders in Nigeria, who did extraordinarily little but collected so much.

Wabba said, “Workers generate surplus value and revenue for the government. We do not constitute any unnecessary cost or burden to governance. It is also important to make the point that salaries are products of contracts governed by laws. They cannot be unilaterally adjusted.”

This move is not only at great odds with global best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but also in violation of relevant ILO Conventions and Declarations on Wages and Decent Work. We urge the government as a social partner to quickly respond to the demands by Labour for an upward review of salaries of all Nigerian workers.

Nigerian workers have shown sufficient understanding with the government through the tough patches of the pandemic. Now, Nigerian workers demand reciprocity of our understanding. Nigerian workers demand an increase in their remunerations and allowances.”

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Reviews

Book launch: Built for the Storm by Bridget Oyefeso Odusami

‘Built for the storm’ is a must-have manual for those experiencing any kind of life adversity.

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Bridget Oyefeso Odusami launches new book, Built for the Storm. In this book, the author takes us on a journey through the process of pain and healing. Using real-life experiences, she talks about the scars that remain afterwards, and how to live with these scars.

What first catches your attention is the title of the book. It emphasises the importance of a name – her name, “Bridget” is an Irish name which means the “Enduring one” – a recurring theme in her story. Bridget was named strong and so was her book. The book takes us through how to change your point of view when life seems hopeless and figure out what you can do to make everything better and find happiness.

‘Built for the storm’ is the ultimate game-changer. Step-by-step, readers are empowered and encouraged so that you can turn any setback into a major comeback while understanding that in life, there are times, seasons and reasons.

In this inspirational, but practical self-help book for women and men, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami talks at length about her husband’s illness and how she copes. Bridget talks about several issues that pop up when the unexpected happens. She talks about her realisation that in caring for the sick, she herself needs help, needs healing to crawl back to life; to show up despite it all.

Bridget is also conscious of the fact that other ears are tuned to her musings and are likely to glean a few truths from her journey; so she uses anecdotes, analogies, even Bible verses and stories to season her musings. She uses her scars and their reminders to tell us about life, about love, about being a wife, a mother, a career woman and one determined to be herself regardless of her circumstances.

Built for the storm is a must-have manual for those experiencing any kind of life adversity. The book tells the story of how love is sweet but can be painful; love forgives, love keeps “no records of wrongs” but more importantly, love grows and when it is rooted in abiding faith, it blossoms like a rose among thorns.

Built for the storm comes to us during a time of deep unrest, a time when our empathy for others is so needed to guide the choices we will make. This book will open hearts. It teaches readers how to shift their mindset and do the internal work to discover the divine purpose of obstacles and how to position them to become their stepping stool for success. You can overcome any adversity and land back on top! There is a reason that you are still alive. You were built for the storm.

Built for the Storm is a searing and pain-filled musing on what can happen when life throws you a curveball. It is a simplified workbook and a sobering reminder that our life can seem no more than a lottery and winning or losing is often up to chance and fate and God, if you believe in him. And for those who believe in God, this is a book that will strengthen your faith and also try your faith beyond measure. This book will stir emotions in you that you did not realize you were capable of. This book will test your faith then make it strong.

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This book is about hurt and healing, adversity and resilience as well as grace under pressure. ‘Wound’ appears 24 times, ‘wounded’ appears 9 times while ‘wounds’ is used 9 times. Reading through, what becomes increasingly obvious is that Bridget has taken vicious blows from life and has been wounded over and over again but through prayer and faith and the kindness of friends and strangers as well as a huge support system she has healed but the scars remain.

That is a summation of the most important lesson from this sobering and beautiful book; scars can be beautiful things and we need not be ashamed of them. Built for the Storm illuminates God’s faithfulness in the life of the author as He orchestrates times and seasons amidst the storms, setting people and situations in place to help her journey towards healing and purpose. Like a line in the book says, “this isn’t where your story ends… Seasons come, seasons go but God is constant.”

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