The National Pension Commission (PenCom) in a report, disclosed that a total 109,284 retired workers had quit the Contributory Pension Scheme, with N27.09 billion withdrawn as of June 2019 due to low monthly pension payout.
According to Punch, PenCom stated that a huge chunk of the affected retired workers did not have up to N550, 000 in their RSAs as at the time of retirement, while others claimed the monthly payment offered by the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) was ridiculously low and opted out of the scheme. The Pension Reform Act 2014 stipulates any worker with less than N550, 000 to be given the total balance in their RSA and allowed to leave the pension scheme.
“The commission granted approval for the payment of the entire RSA balances of the categories of retirees whose RSA balances were N550,000 or below and considered insufficient to procure a programmed withdrawal or annuity of a reasonable amount over an expected lifespan.
“Consequently, 109,284 retirees received en-bloc payments totalling N27.09 billion from inception to the end of the second quarter of 2019, ” PenCom said.
Meanwhile, Mary Moneme, a retiree with less than N1.6 million in her RSA, said, “My PFA said if I collected 50% lump sum, it would be paying me about N6,000 per month if I took the programmed withdrawal. The insurance company said it would be paying me about N7,000 with the annuity. The PFA said if I took 25 per cent lump sum, it would be paying me about N9, 000 while the insurance company said it would pay about N10, 000.”
“What will I be using that kind of monthly stipend to do? I have left my PFA and have not returned there because that monthly stipend is not a living wage.”
Reasons for low RSA balance: Several reasons have been attributed to the issue of low funds in RSAs, according to industry stakeholders.
- Irregular payment of salaries by employers at the state and private sectors made the workers have no pension savings since the savings could only be deducted from a paid salary.
- Poor or zero monthly remittance by some employers who had continued to deduct their workers’ monthly salaries but refused to remit into the RSAs.
- Withdrawals made before leaving by foreign nationals returning to their countries. PenCom reportedly granted approval for payment of the RSA balances to foreign nationals who decided to return to their home countries after making contributions under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
According to the President, United Labour Congress, Joseph Ajaero, other reasons include that a lot of companies were taking casual workers without giving them any pension savings. He stated that contract, casual appointment and outsourcing are precarious jobs that shouldn’t exist under normal employment schedule.
Mr Ajaero noted that those jobs did not have any form of protection and it was more prevalent in sectors without strong unions that would challenge the system. He stated that many casual workers had no retirement package as their employers did not key them into the Contributory Pension Scheme.
However, according to the acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, in efforts to combat poor or zero remittance by employers, the commission was pushing for the implementation of a minimum monthly payment of N14,000 to retirees with low RSA balances. Also, PenCom maintained the services of recovery agents for the retrieval of outstanding pension contributions and merited penalties to defaulting employers.
Official: Imo State is unemployment capital of Nigeria
According to NBS, 75.1% of the total employable people in Imo State are either underemployed or unemployed.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveal Imo State, located in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria has the highest unemployment rate in the country.
In contrast, Anambra State is the state with the least unemployment in the country with 13.1% unemployment rate. The national average for the unemployment rate is 27.1%
Imo State has an unemployment rate of 48.7% as at the second quarter of 2020, by far the highest when compared to any other state in the country.
According to the data, 75.1% of the total employable people in the state are either underemployed or unemployed.
- Total number of employable people – 2.48 million
- Fully employed people – 618, 481
- Unemployed people in the state – 593. 347
- Underemployed – 656, 394
Imo State is largely a civil service town and has been unlucky with state governors over the last 20 years. Private sector jobs are hard to come by in the serene state with most industries setting up show in nearby cities like Aba, Port Harcourt, and Onitsha.
The city was once notorious for ritual motivated murders and kidnappings but has since overcome these challenges.
Akwa Ibom State is next on the list with an unemployment rate of 1.14 million people. The state’s underemployed population is about 551k people while the unemployment and underemployment rates combined is 66.9%.
The best: The state with the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria is Anambra State with 13.1% out of the total working population of 2.25 million people. The state was 37 out of 37 states in the ranking of unemployment by state. About 1.9 million people in Anambra State are either fully employed (1.57 million) or under-employed (384k) in the state.
Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital and where most graduates rush to for jobs currently has an unemployment rate of 19.5% and sits at 27 in the state by state unemployment ladder. The data shows about 6.8 million people make up the labour force population in Lagos State out of which 3.99 million people are fully employed and another 1.5 million people are underemployed. About 870k Lagosians who are employable did absolutely nothing.
Concentration: In terms of the concentration of unemployed people, Rivers State came first with a whopping 1.7 million people out of jobs in the state. The state as a working population of 3.9 million. Rivers State unemployment rate is 43.7 and ranks third as the worst. 21.7 million Nigerians are unemployed.
Lagos State had the most employed persona with about 3.99 million people out of a total of 35.5 million.
Nigeria’s unemployment rate jumps to 27.1% as at 2020 Q2
Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% meaning about 21.7 million Nigerians remain unemployed.
Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% indicating that about 21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.
Nigeria’s unemployment and underemployment rate (28.6%) is a combined 55.7%. This means the total number of Nigerians who are unemployed or underemployed as at 2020 Q2.
This is contained in a recently released unemployment data report published by the National Bureau of Statistics. Nigeria’s unemployment rate was 23.1% in Q3 2018 confirming it increased by 4% points between then and the second quarter of 2020.
- The number of persons in the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q2, 2020 was 116,871,186.
- The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894. This was 11.3% less than the number persons in Q3, 2018. Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23,328,460 or 29.1% of the labour force.
- The total number of people in employment (i.e. people with jobs) during the reference period was dwellers, it rose to 31.5% from 22.8%, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2% from 58,527,276.
- Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were under-employed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week). This figure is 15.8% less than the people in employment in Q3, 2020
- The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q2, 2020 was 27.1%, up from the 23.1% recorded in Q3, 2018. The underemployment rate increased from 20.1% in Q3, 2018 to 28.6%.
- For the period under review, Q2, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 34.9%, up from 29.7%, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2% from 25.7% in Q3, 2018. These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.
The data is coming after nearly two years when the last data was published. The bureau last published jobs data in the third quarter of 2018 citing funding as a major challenge.
- Nigeria’s youth remain the hardest hit by unemployment with over 13.9 million people aged between 15 and 34 years unemployed.
- The data also shows 7.6 million of this subset did nothing.
- Women also continue to bear the brunch of bad economy with about 12.2 million out of jobs from the 27 million currently unemployed.
- Graduates and post graduates combined made up about 2.9 million of the total Nigerians that are unemployed.
- In a surpising data, out of the 35.5 million Nigerians that are fully employed, 28.8 million of them never attended school (6.29 million) or did not have a tertiary education (22.5).
- In fact, most fully employed people in Nigeria with SSS (Senior Secondary School certificates) are a whopping 13.2 million.
COVID-19: Nigeria, 6 other African countries to start antibodies tests next week
These countries are the first set of countries to commit to the testing.
Nigeria and 6 other African countries will start conducting coronavirus antibodies tests as early as next week, as part of efforts to understand the extent of the outbreak on the continent.
Apart from Nigeria, the other African countries that will benefit from this include Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Morocco.
While making the disclosure in Addis Ababa, the head of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, said that these countries are the first set of countries to commit to it.
Western countries have been using antibody tests to discover how many of their citizens have been infected by the coronavirus disease, with the expectation that will help them reopen their economies.
This new development is coming some days after the Nigerian Government started negotiations with prospective COVID-19 vaccine distributors to the country ahead of their availability.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who kick-started the negotiation on behalf of the Federal Government, in a virtual meeting with representatives of the vaccine candidate, told the co-discussants that Nigeria must be given priority when COVID-19 vaccine is ready for distribution.
Nkengasong said that Africa has so far conducted 9.4 million coronavirus tests, a 10% increase over last week. These tests show whether people currently have the coronavirus disease.
Experts said that the low levels of testing in many countries mean that Africa’s infection rates could be higher than being reported.
He said that 25 African countries still have full border closures, with 23 imposing tests at entry points. He also stressed on the need to harmonize border testing and recognize certificates in order to facilitate travel.