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Pension: 187 Agencies Get N3.3bn Increment Arrears




By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja with Agency Reports

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has paid the sum of N3.366 billion to pensioners of 187 agencies.

According to PTAD, the payment covers six months of the outstanding arrears of the 33% pension increment for pensioners across five sectors: Education, Health, Other Public Sector Research Institute (OPSRI), Power, and Universities.

The directorate said that it has now offset 30 months arrears for pensioners in agencies across 5 sectors under Parastatals Pension Department (PaPD).

Daily Asset recalls that between June 2016 and December 2018, PTAD paid 24 months arrears to pensioners in these agencies.

 At the time of its takeover of payment of Parastatals pension in 2015, the Directorate had inherited outstanding 33% pension increment liabilities from the various agencies.

PTAD further has assured that all arrears would be paid in due course.

This payment according to the agency, was in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to clear outstanding pension arrears for pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme.

Meanwhile, some insurance and pension experts have called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the raging issue of poor pension benefits being paid to some retirees of the Nigeria Police.

The experts made the call-in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday against the backdrop of recent demonstrations across the country by some police retirees.

The retirees, who are under the contributory pension scheme being managed by NPF Pensions Limited, alleged that they were shortchanged as they were paid as low as N2 million lump sum on retirement.

Oku Nana, the Chairman of Retired Police Officers Association (Under the Contributory Pension Scheme) in Lagos, said that some retired middle cadre officers in the police were paid as low as N3.5 million lump sum instead of N10 million paid to their mates in other agencies.

He said this was in gross violation of the provisions of the Pension Act of 2004.

The experts told NAN that the problem might be due to low savings in the officers’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA).

They alleged that their employer (The Nigeria Police) might not have made the mandatory counterpart contributions to their RSAs as required by law.

Mr Mufutau Oyegunle, an insurance and pension analyst in Lagos, said that the issue of unfounded account that the police retirees faced was not uncommon.

“It is not that the pension monies were not deducted from the retirees, but just that the monies were not remitted.

“So, zero account means zero returns on investment which affects gratuity,” he said.

Oyegunle said this could be one of the numerous challenges which the NPFPL inherited and was trying to correct.

He suggested a 300 per cent increase across board in the pension entitlements (lump sum and monthly pension) of the affected officers to assuage them.

“It is unjust for an officer who served meritoriously for 35 years to be paid N2 million gratuity upon retirement,” he said.

Dr Edgar Sunday, the Head of Service in Adamawa State, called for proper documentation of pension remittances.

“For example, how much was remitted, the year the money was remitted, the years the remittances covered and beneficiaries.

“We should know that fears of retirement is what is pushing some civil servants that are still in service into corruption,” he said.

Sunday advised President Mohammed Buhari to ensure that pension administrators at the national, state and local government levels manage pension funds in a manner that workers would look forward to retirement without apprehension.

“President Buhari must ensure that pension money diverted are recovered and forwarded to those retirees languishing,” he said.

Mr Leye Awoniyi, an insurance expert in Lagos, advised the Federal Government to devise a way of appropriately compensating the affected police retirees, saying that a labourer deserved his or her wage.

“It is not the fault of these retired police officers, but the system that has allowed this to happen. That a man worked for 35 years and he is not being paid his dues is unfair. The Federal Government must intervene and pay these officers appropriately,” he said.

Mr Otunba Arasi, the Acting Chairman of Federal Civil Service Pensioners in Lagos State, said “we don’t know who is fooling who.’’

“When we go to PTAD, they will tell us the Federal Government has not released money, while the Federal Government said they have released the money.

“We appeal to well mean Nigerians that whoever has President Buhari’s number to please give us,” he said.

Mr. Femi Olaosebikan, a serving police officer in Lagos, expressed fears that this situation would not affect him.

“Is it a crime to be a policeman in Nigeria. How can government stop corruption among us when we are not sure of our pension benefits?”


We Currently have $30bn Investment Commitments – FG




The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, says Nigeria currently has about 30 billion dollars investment committment from various investors.

Uzoka-Anite said this at the ongoing Ministerial Media briefing in Abuja on Friday.

According to her, the commitments will be redeemed over the course of five to eight years.

She said investments, commitments, and pledges were also received from our oil and gas free zone, adding that last week, some of them committed an additional 10 billion dollars in investments.

“I hosted the managing director of SHELL who explained to me about the investment plans of shell.

“ I know a lot of us are aware that shell is leaving; he came to explain to me what they mean by that.

And I can tell you that they are not leaving.

“Rather, they are expanding and increasing their investments in Nigeria; they are selling their onshore assets and increasing their investment in gas and offshore assets.” she said.

Uzoka-Anite, who envisaged more investments into the country, said  it would not have been possible without the commitment of President Bola Tinubu led administration.

She said that with increased investments comes job opportunities and economic growth, which wss part of the priority of the government. (NAN)

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Nigerian Breweries Records N106bn Loss in 2023




Nigerian Breweries Plc has recorded a net loss of N106 billion for the year ended 2023, as against N13.93 billion posted in its 2022 financials, indicating 860 per cent loss.

Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries stated this in the audited financial result of the company for the year ended 2023 sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.


Agbebaku said the gross profit of the company for the year under review also fell by 0.

3 percent to N212.5 billion, compared to N213.20 billion posted in the previous year.

He stated that the operating profit of the company declined by 15.

3 per cent to 45 billion, as against N53 billion recorded in the corresponding year.

The company secretary said that the firm recorded loss in its operating profit due to higher input cost and one-off reorganisation cost despite strong and aggressive cost savings and other efficiency measures.

According to him, the company however was able to grow its revenue by nine per cent to N599 billion, compared to N551 billion posted in the previous year, which was aided by positive price mix.

Agbebaku stated that the Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023, with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide.

He explained that the Naira notes redesign which resulted in cash shortage that severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide set the tone for a turbulent year.

Agbebaku said: “High double-digit inflation rates with food inflation at more than 30 per cent and removal of subsidy on fuel.

“Coupled with the impact of the devaluation of the naira which resulted in a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.

“In a difficult operating environment, the Board will ensure that the company builds on its more than 77 years’ experience of operating in Nigeria to cope with current realities.

He said the company would continue to be resilient and forward-thinking, leveraging on its broad portfolio, strong supply chain footprint and passionate workforce to drive long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.(NAN)

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NDLEA Tincan Command Intercepted 876.453kg Illicit Drugs, others in 2023-Commander




 The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Tincan Special Area Command,  says 876.453 kilograms of various illicit drugs and controlled substances were intercepted in 2023.

Commander Mohammed Abubakar of the command said this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

He listed the drugs as cocaine worth 24kg; Canabis – 852.

45KG; and Tramadol – 0.
003KG, all totalling 876.

According to Abubakar, a total of 15 individuals were arrested and prosecuted during the period, out of which 10  were convicted.

He added that the feat was achieved through relentless efforts and meticulous investigation, which led to the dismantling of several drug trafficking networks and the subsequent prosecution of individuals involved.

“The Tincan special area command has been at the forefront of strategic operations in the area, targeting illicit drug smuggling activities and apprehending those responsible.

“In recent months, the efforts have culminated in multiple successful seizures and arrests, emphasising the agency’s commitment to eradicating drug-related crimes within our society.

“In one operation carried out at the Tincan port, a notable seizure of illicit drugs (Cannabis Indica also called Colorado) totalling 161.5kg was made, along with sum of 22,900 dollars offered as bribe to officers.

“The intercepted drugs, were concealed within cargo shipments of used vehicles from Montreal Canada, indicating the ingenuity of the involved drug traffickers,” he said.

Abubakar said that several investigations were conducted in collaboration with national and international law enforcement agencies, leading to the identification and apprehension of some of the key players in these drug networks.

The NDLEA boss noted that the combined efforts proved fruitful, resulting in the arrest of some of the persons directly involved in the importation, distribution, and sales of illicit drugs.

He said that throughout 2023, the command embarked on various sensitisation and enlightenment activities within and around the Tincan island port.

He listed them to include advocacy visit to all stakeholders in and around the port, public enlightenment and lectures, rallies and engagement of traditional rulers and non-governmental organisations around the port environment.

“All the activities were carried out under aegis of ‘War Against Drug Abuse’ (WADA) and  was designed to reduce demand and abuse of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria.

The NDLEA Tincan special area commander appreciated stakeholders in the maritime industry, and other relevant government agencies for their unwavering support and collaborative effort in these operations.

He added that their dedication and joint action had played a crucial role in the successes achieved thus far.

He also urged all licensed Customs clearing agents to stop the practice of authorising third party individuals to clear cargo under their company stamp.

He pointed out that the practice, automatically made the company liable to any cargo cleared,  using its name and stamp.

“This may become a real problem when illicit drugs are discovered and the company cannot provide any tangible information or whereabout of the owners of the cargo.

“Clearing agents have the responsibilities to not only adhere to laws but to cooperate with law enforcement agents undertaking an investigation.

“The NDLEA Tincan special area command sends a strong message to all those involved in drug trafficking and other illicit activities, we intend to use every available resource to bring them to justice and put an end to their illegal operations,” he said.

He said the command would continue to enhance their intelligence capabilities, invest in modern equipment, and provide training for its officers to combat drug trafficking effectively.

“The agency urges the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to drug trafficking to the NDLEA or relevant law enforcement agencies. Together, we can create a safer and drug-free environment for all Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)

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