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Economy & Politics

President Buhari nominates new Chairman, DG for PENCOM as senators kick

Some members of the Senate kicked against the President’s nominee for the position of the Director-General of PenCom.

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National Assembly approves Federal Government’s plan to borrow $11 billion in 2021, Senate urges FG to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production , Senate seeks textile importation ban , Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari , PenCom: Constitute a board, NASS and pension operators tell FG, Nigeria’s total debt now N33trn —Senate, Senate confirms appointment of board members for NDIC, law reform commission, Senate to confirm reappointment of Danbatta as NCC boss, Senate investigates claims of NELMCO, AEDC over govt asset, Senate Investigate Banks over customers exploitation and high fees, 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review, #EndSARS: States affected by hoodlums should get 1% VAT - Senate

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, submitted the names of 6 nominees to the Senate for confirmation as Chairman, Director General and National Executive Commissioners of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).

In the letter, which was read on the floor of the upper chamber by the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, the President nominated Oyindasola Oni as the Chairman and Aisha Umar as the Director-General.

READ: Former PenCom DG is under investigation for procurement irregularities

Others nominated as Executive Commissioners are Hannatu Musa (North-West), Clement Akintola (South-West), Ayim Nyerere (South-East) and Charles Emukowhale (South-South).

However, the president’s nomination caused a sharp division among senators as it did not go down well with some of them, who kicked against it.

Some senators opposed the nomination of Umar as the substantive Director-General of the commission as soon as the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, read President Buhari’s letter.

READ: Former PenCom DG is under investigation for procurement irregularities

While speaking on behalf of the aggrieved senators, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said that Umar, from the North-East, should not have replaced, the former DG, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who is from the South-East. He said Buhari’s action was a flagrant breach of the Act that established the PenCom.

Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, states, “In the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint a replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”

READ: PFAs boost investment in infrastructure by N17.77 billion in one year 

Abaribe argued that Anohu-Amazu’s successor should come from the South-East.

He said, “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. It is against the law setting up the National Pension Commission and the Federal Character Commission.

“Before you send it to the appropriate committee tomorrow, I wish to draw the attention of the committee to it.”

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READ: FEC approves $1.96 billion for Kano-Niger Republic railway

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However, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, rejected Abaribe’s point of order and observation.

He said, “That is for me to interpret because I interpret the laws here. If there is any petition to that effect it should be sent to the committee.”

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Economy & Politics

CBN extends Covid-19 forbearance for intervention loans by another 12 months

CBN will continue to charge an interest rate of 5% for its intervention loans for another 1 year.

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New CBN guidelines ban MMOs, PSPs, Operators from receiving diaspora remittances

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced an extension of its regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of its intervention facilities by another 12 months.

In a circular signed by Dr. Kevin Amugo, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulatory. the apex bank said it will continue to charge its borrowers an interest rate of 5% per annum as against the 9% originally offered. The CBN had on March 20th reduced the interest rates on its intervention loans from 9% to 5% as part of its response to the economic crunch brought on by Covid-19 induced lockdowns.

The CBN also offered to rollover moratorium granted on all principal payments on a case by case basis. All credit facilities had been granted a one-year moratorium starting from march 1, 2020 when the pandemic first gripped Nigeria.

READ: Analysing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Dollar Remittance Policy

See excerpt from Circular

“The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from 9% to 5% per annum for one-year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigerian economy.”

Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
1) The extension by another twelve (12) months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities;

2) The roll-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.

READ: Nigeria attracts more FDI than FPI for the first time in 4 years

What this means

Companies who secured intervention funds from the CBN or through any of its on-lending banks will continue to service the loans at an interest rate of 5% per annum instead of 9%.

  • They can also get another year of not needing to pay back the principal sum collection. However, they will need to apply.
  • Whilst this move helps the small businesses continue to manage their cash flow, it means the CBN will record a reduction in its income extended under such facility.
  • Regulatory forbearance is a widely adopted concept during an economic crunch and it is meant to help stimulate businesses. These pronouncements if implemented will only affect those who borrow from the CBN or BOI but those who do not will miss out.
  • Download the circular here.

READ: CBN discloses conditions for assessing N100 billion credit facility, addresses ‘process problems’

 

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Economy & Politics

Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors

The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.

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The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.

Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.

According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.

Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.

In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.

“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.

Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
  • Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
  • This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
  • They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.

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