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PenCom Denies Paying N3m As Minimum Monthly Salary

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By Sola Alabadan

The management of National Pension Commission (PenCom) has denied allegation that the least paid employee of the commission earns a salary of ₦3 million per month.
PenCom stated that the claim is absolutely false, pointing out that the highest paid official of the Commission earns less than ₦1 million a month.
As the false and misleading information on the compensation package of PenCom was being circulated in the traditional and social media, the commission said it has become necessary to set the record straight in the interest of the Nigerian public.
PenCom also explained that “right from the inception of the Commission in 2004, the Federal Government mandated the Board to adopt an employee compensation policy that favourably compares to comparator government bodies in the financial services sector, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”
“Section 25(2)(b) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 also empowers the Board of the Commission to fix the remuneration, allowances and benefits of the employees,” the commission added.
Besides, the pension regulator said “the Presidential Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments in the Public Sector headed by the late Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of the Interim National Government, made a number of recommendations which guide the PenCom Board in its compensation review exercises.
According to the commission, one of the recommendations of the Shonekan-led committee “is that the pay structure of self-funded agencies should be benchmarked with their private sector comparators so as to ensure relativity in such agencies and attract and retain high-caliber professionals.”
“The Shonekan Committee, which was set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, also recommended that the pay structure of regulatory agencies should be benchmarked against sectors they monitor to avoid regulatory capture, and that an annual increase in pay should be undertaken to account for inflation/cost of living adjustment and establishments may strive to attain 50th percentile and above their comparators in the private sector,” PenCom stressed.
PenCom further affirmed that “We made all these facts known in a recently submission to the House of Representatives Committee on Finance over the compensation package of the Commission. We also stated that the last compensation package review was done in 2017 with the approval of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). No review has been done in the last five years and this has affected the ability of the Commission to attract, hire and retain staff with competitive skills”.
The commission therefore implored members of the public to ignore the false and mischievous information on the staff compensation package, saying it has nothing to hide and will continue to run a transparent and accountable system.

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Business

Leadway Pensure introduces Instant Service Assistant

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LeadWay Pensure P.F.A. has announced the introduction of the Leadway Pensure Instant Service Assistant (L.I.S.A) as part of efforts to provide a seamless customer service experience for its diverse customers,.

L.I.S.A., an artificial intelligence-powered virtual tech assistant, dubbed the 'perfect superhuman assistant', is designed to deliver immersive, seamless, innovative, and real-time support for customers to access services, make their pension requests and receive updates, all on the go.

Speaking on this innovation, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Pensure, Lanre Idris, stated that the introduction of L.I.S.A. reflects the organisation's commitment to serving its customers exceptionally, leveraging disruptive and technology-enabled innovations for seamless, exceptional service delivery.

"Understanding the reality of the fast-paced world backed by a growing demand on brands and corporate organisations to provide real-time, convenient, and simple to use platforms for instantaneous and responsive engagement, we dug into our innovative capabilities to introduce the Leadway Pensure Instant Service Assistant (L.I.S.A.). This comprehensively researched and well-developed invention is a one-stop shop to access all our services at the comfort of our customers."

"With L.I.S.A., all the assistance our customers need, from pension updates, balance check-ups, the status of benefit payment, and changes in details, can be assessed from a hand-held device at any time, from any location. With this, customers no longer need to worry about waiting in the queue, getting stuck in transit, being held up at a contact centre, or putting a halt to their daily activity to access our wide range of services. Technology has made the world smaller, and we have leveraged the same to build L.I.S.A, the perfect, superhuman assistant for our enrolees", he added.

"In the same vein, we also upgraded the Leadway Pensure Mobile App to bolster the provision of exciting benefits such as the programmed withdrawal process, which allows the customer to access retirement benefits in periodic sums; and the enbloc RSA payment type, which ensures customers receive funds as a whole at the programmed time."

For customers to enjoy these services, they can send HELP to 07018000800 via WhatsApp, Telegram.

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For N15,000, Nigerians To Get N3m Motor Insurance Claims From 2023

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By Sola Alabadan

Based on the new rates approved by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), policyholders of Motor third-party insurance who paid N15,000 premium, will be eligible to collect N3 million claims in the event of an accident, from January 2023.

The new benefit to motor policyholders which was contained in a circular dated December 22, 2022, from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), also raised the cheapest and the most popular class of insurance in the country from N5,000 to N15,000, indicating a 200 per cent increase.

For buyers of comprehensive motor insurance, they shall not pay less than five per cent of the sum insured or the price of the vehicle after all rebates and discounts.

In the circular signed by its Director, Policy, and regulation, Leo Akah to all insurance institutions entitled, “New Premium Rates For Motor”, the sector regulator raises the claims and cost of insurance on all classes of motor insurance including motorcycles.

The highest cost in the new rates is N100,000 for a commercial truck/general cartage which also fetches the policyholders N5 million claims in the event of an accident.

The implication of this to the industry is an improved premium income in the class of business from the Year 2023. Until recently, the motor insurance class has been the major earner of income for some insurance underwriters and this new development will swell their income.

The industry earned a total of N77.7 billion from motor insurance in a period of six months covering April to September 2022. The class of business fetched the industry N32.4 billion between April and June and also, N45.3 billion between July and September.

Consequently, premium income from motor insurance is expected to improve the earnings of the industry operators by 200 percent following the addition of N10,000 to the cheapest third party which currently stands at N5,000.

The commission according to the circular stated that it was empowered to approve the new rates for motor insurance premiums by Section 7 of the NAICOM Act 1997 and other extant laws, noting that the new motor insurance premium rates become effective from January 1, 2023.

It warns that failure to comply with the circular shall attract appropriate regulatory sanction.

NAICOM in the new rates which states that third-party insurance policies are inclusive of the Ecowas Brown Card also approved an N20,000 premium for Own goods motor insurance while the policyholders will collect N5 million claims in the event of an accident. The new development fixed the premium rate on a staff bus at N20,000 while the insured can collect N3 million claims in the case of an accident.

For commercial vehicles, trucks/general cartage has a claims limit of N5 million while the new premium is N100,000; special types of insurance have a claims limit of N3 million while the new premium is N20,000, and owners of tricycles will pay N5,000 for insurance of each to enjoy N2 million claims. For motorcycle insurance, the new premium is N3,000 while the claims limit is now N1 million.

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Expert Advocates Collaborative Communication Campaign To Grow Insurance

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Expert who spoke at the 2022 Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) Media Retreat has called for the creation of a dedicated jointly owned media vehicle by all stakeholders in the nation’s insurance industry that would serve as news agency on insurance content for sharing with other media houses.

Delivering the theme paper, “Media As Catalyst For Insurance Inclusion,” at the event organized for members of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) at the weekend in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Head, Corporate Communication, Polaris Bank Limited and President, Association of Corporate & Marketing Communications Professionals in Banks (ACAMB), Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa said, “There is a need for a deliberate collaborative campaign for national awareness about the importance of insurance.

“A dedicated jointly owned media vehicle should be created by all stakeholders to serve as a news agency on insurance content shared with other media houses.

“Regulatory bodies in the Nigerian insurance industry are expected to partner the Nigerian media industry towards creating a diverse and inclusive newsroom; that has content development and coverage strategy that builds audience trust in insurance and provides for a better representation of different societies.”

Speaking on issues militating against insurance penetration in Nigeria, Mr Bolarinwa mentioned doubts about insurance companies, hostile economy, trust issues emanating from hidden clauses, inadequate access to Information Technology, weak regulatory framework, lack of skilled personnel and poor awareness of insurance services by the prospective assured, among other factors.

He said ”The response that follows the mention of insurance or insurance companies to an average Nigerian is predictable. Negative reactions and lukewarm attitude are the kinds of feeling that come with an invitation to insurance policies. This informed the low patronage and acceptance of insurance companies operating in Nigeria.

“This untoward reaction and attitude by Nigerians may not be unrelated to the poor attitude of the insurers towards the often repeated chorus of refusal to pay claims. Some insurance companies have truly developed a bad reputation for defaulting in the payment of claims. This unfortunately grew to become a negative public emblem that hangs beside their corporate identities. Invariably, the industry and the nation’s depleting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are big losers.”

While giving kudos to the industry for paying huge claims on losses suffered by millions insured, Bolarinwa said “Things have changed though as underwriters have paid and are still paying huge claims on losses suffered by millions of insured that we read daily in the media.”

On how the hostile economy is affecting insurance industry, Bolarinwa said “At this moment, insurance companies are not willing to invest the premiums in long-term instruments because of the fear of inflation built up over several years due to fiscal indiscipline and high inflation. Everybody knows in economics that short-term investment can only bring lower returns. With these trends, insurance companies will only be able to run on the spot; underwriters would not be able to pay claims. Only a viable economy that has a robust business environment can allow insurance companies to thrive.”

Stressing on the need to demystify insurance to take its pride of place in the nation’s economy, the communications expert said, “Insurance will only take its pride of place as a big contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it applies in other jurisdictions when all stakeholders in the risk ecosystem are deliberate, consistent and methodical in simplifying what insurance is all about in words and deed. Firstly, there must be a unanimity of purpose to bake insurance and make it BI enough for all to benefits from the expected windfall.”
Bolarinwa proposed that “insurance should be presented as a Lifestyle add, adding a significant value, enhancing life and living. Creative and interesting story-telling narratives delivered with moving and crisp visuals delivered across digital and traditional platforms with strong orchestration and amplifications. There is bound to be a ‘Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA)’ as the end product, which is all that is needed for the immense opportunities in the sector to be unleashed.”

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