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APC Denies Lagos Being Forced To Repeal Pension Law

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has refuted allegations by the opposition party in the State concerning the move by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to repeal the pension law of the State in respect of former governors and their deputies.

Seye Oladejo, spokesman of the party in Lagos State, stated that while the opposition would be encouraged as part of the development of democratic culture, deliberate falsehood and outright lies do not represent the quality of minds that the people deserve and shouldn’t be the kind of culture that Nigerian children should imbibe.

Refuting the claim by the opposition that the government had planned to borrow and was asked to repeal the pension law as a condition, Oladejo said, “The claim that Lagos State intends to borrow additional huge sums of money from the Capital Market again, but it must cancel the illegal payments to Governors and Deputies by revoking Ex Governors Pension Law in order for PENCOM to qualify its new borrowing for PFAs’ investments is completely false.”

Oladejo maintained that it was expedient to state that the circular issued by Nigeria Pension Commission in Jan 2020 to Lagos State was basically on queries relating to operational differences between the Pension Reform Act of 2004 and the Lagos State Pension Reform Law 2007 and had nothing to do with pensions to governor’s or their deputies.

He said that Lagosians appreciated the steps taken by the Governor to signal selflessness and personal sacrifice in governance and public service. He stressed that only someone who doesn’t wish Lagos well would disparage the move using falsehood.

While commending the exemplary courage of Sanwo-Olu, the spokesman said that the governor made it clear that it was a move to cut the cost of governance and had shown the sincere political will to re-order the priorities of the government in the face of current realities.

“Since its inception, the Sanwo-Olu administration has focused on cost-saving measures to make funds available for important projects. The deliberate refusal of the governor to acquire official vehicles and the low-priced brands allocated to high ranking state officials are moves in the right direction.” He said.

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Pension

RSA Transfer: PenOp Charges Pension Operators To Maintain High Ethical Standards

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By Sola Alabadan

Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has charged its members to maintain high standards of ethics in the conduct of their business, especially as it is possible for holders of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) to transfer their RSA from one PFA to another.

The Governing Council of PenOp also hailed the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for eventually opening the RSA transfer window, saying it is a welcome development.

PenOp’s Media, Communications & Branding Officer, Ukemeobong Akanam, stated that the council believes this development will accelerate the journey towards greater self-regulation in Nigeria’s pension industry. The council also commended President Buhari for the constitution of the PenCom board.

The Governing Council meeting which was held virtually for the first time, had in attendance all the Trustees and Executives of the association. The meeting was directed by the Chairman of the council of PenOp – Professor Fabian Ajogwu.

The other attendees were Ms. Daisy Ekineh, the former acting Director-General of the Security Exchange Commissionand CEO of DSE advisory Limited, Muhammad Ahmad; Pioneer Director-General of the National Pension Commission and current chairman of Polaris Bank, Alhaji Bello Maccido; Chairman of FBN Quest Merchant Bank Limited and six Executive Council members comprising of Wale Odutola; President, Akeeb Akinola, Vice President, Oguche Agudah, CEO PenOP, Amaka Andy-Azike, Head of Branding & Communications Committee, Glory Etaduovie, Head, Legal And Regulatory, Eric Fajemisin, Head, Technical Committee and Bayo Yusuf, Treasurer.

The Governing Council of PenOp provides advice and guidance to the Executive Committee in the running of the affairs of the association.

PenOp is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making body established to promote the operations of the pension industry, provide for self-regulation and ensure that international best practices relating to the industry are observed by the operators registered in Nigeria.

It is the umbrella association for all the Licensed Pension Fund Custodians, Pension Fund Administrators and Closed Pension Fund Administrators (PFCs, PFAs and CPFAs) operating in Nigeria.

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Kwara Set To Stop Ex-Governors’ Pensions

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Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has said he will initiate measure to repeal the law that awards pension to all former governors and their deputies that have served in the state.
Abdulrazaq disclosed this in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, on Friday.
The governor said he would Initiate a bill to the State House of Assembly that passed the law that former governors and their deputies be paid pension to repeal the law.
The Kwara State House of Assembly in 2011 passed a bill to pay pensions to governors and their deputies who have completed their tenure in the state.
Among the past governors of the state are the late Mohammed Lawal, Bukola Saraki, and Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The statement read in part, “Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will next week send a bill to the State House of Assembly requesting the lawmakers to immediately repeal the law awarding pension packages to former governors and former deputy governors.
“The Governor has listened to voices of the majority of the citizens opposing the pension law for former governours and deputy governors. In line with his campaign mantra and as a product of democracy himself, he will be sending a bill to the House of Assembly next week requesting them to repeal the law.
“As representatives of the people, the lawmakers would exercise their discretion to call a public hearing on the topic to further harvest wider opinions on the topic.
“However, the Governor feels it is time for the law as it is to give way. He would rather commit scarce public funds to tackle the question of poverty and youth unemployment.”

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Lagos Moves To Repeal Law Granting Pensions To Ex-governors, Deputies 

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By Sola Alabadan

Lagos State Government has commenced moves to stop the payment of pensions to former governors and their Deputies in order to keep the cost of governance low.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated this today at the State House of Assembly, where he unveiled a 2021 budget proposal of N1,155 trillion.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed his administration’s determination to keep the cost of governance low in the face of dwindling revenues and general inflation occasioned by multiple factors, announcing the repeal of the State’s Payment of Pension Law of 2007, which provides payment of pension and entitlements to former Governors and their deputies.
The Governor said he would be sending an Executive Bill to the Assembly for the repeal of the Pension Law, noting that public service would now be predicated on selflessness in the State.
He said: “In light of keeping the costs of governance low, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House of Assembly imminently for the repeal of the Payment of Pension Law 2007 (Public Office Holder), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies. It is our firm belief that with dwindling revenues and inflationary growth rates, that we need to come up with innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum, while engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service.”

In the “Budget of Rekindling Hope” the government will be investing heavily in the development of human capital, with special focus on youth employment and provision of social safety for young people. The focus will be raising human capital, creating jobs and strengthening security for businesses to flourish.
The expenditure is for the restoration of economic balance as the State continues to navigate its way out of the negative impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the destruction of public assets, following the EndSARS protest hijack.
The budget, the Governor said, will be funded from a projected Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) of N962 billion. The N192.495 billion deficit will be financed through bond issuance, internal and external loans.
About N704 billion, representing 61 per cent of the total budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure in the proposed 2021spending: an estimate of N451.75 billion, representing 39 per cent, will go for recurrent expenditure, which includes personnel cost and other staff-related expenses.
Sanwo-Olu said the budget was designed to improve the state’s economic conditions and create the social safety needed for the youth and all hardworking residents to flourish. He said the Government would leverage its developmental efforts and focus on sectors with job-creating potential, such as agriculture, construction, technology and security.
He said: “The year 2021 is one of Rekindled Hope, in accordance with recent events of global and national proportions, especially the coronavirus pandemic, the EndSARS protests, the general feeling of disenchantment in the polity and the socio-economic yearnings of Lagosians for good governance. This budget reflects our desire to rebuild the trust of the people in this Government, even as we commit significant human and financial resources to the rebuilding of Lagos while doing all we can to move on from the destruction and vandalism recently witnessed in the State, barely three weeks ago.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protests have only heightened the need to urgently implement various programmes under the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda. The 2021 budget will, among other things, provide for youth employment, security, and youth engagement and social works. We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered. In Agricultural sector, our food security plan has a cumulative budget of N22.21billion while we are committing a cumulative budget of N311.43billion to provide infrastructure.”

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