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Pension Fund Assets Now N12. 7trillion, Contributors 9. 4million

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By Sola Alabadan

The pension fund assets accumulated under the Contributory Scheme in Nigeria was N12.66 trillion as at 30 June 2021, while the number of registered contributors has grown to 9.38 million, the Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Aisha Dahir-Umar, said.

She stated this at the workshop organised PenCom for journalists in Lagos on Monday. The theme of the workshop was “Positioning the Pension Industry in a Post COVID Era”.

The PenCom boss also informed that President Muhammadu Buhari  has approved the payment of some outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government, under the CPS.
This covered payment of outstanding accrued pension rights for verified and enrolled retirees of treasury-funded MDAs that are yet to be paid their retirement benefits, and the backlog of death benefits claims due to beneficiaries of deceased employees of treasury funded MDAs.
Similarly, the President also approved the payment of 2.5 percent differential in the rate of employer pension contribution for FGN retirees and employees, which resulted from the increase in the minimum pension contribution for employers from 7.5 percent to 10 percent, in line with Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, she added
She emphasised that these payments would boost the RSA balances of the beneficiaries towards better retirement benefits, while the settlement of these outstanding accrued pension rights of verified and enrolled FGN retirees would result in reversing a major challenge that has lingered since 2014.
She stressed that the commencement of payment of the reviewed monthly pension contribution rate by the Federal Government is another significant step in ensuring compliance with the PRA 2014.
According to her, the most recent technological innovation introduced by the Commission is the in-house designed and developed online Enrolment Application, which has capabilities to register, verify and enroll prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
By the deployment of this new application, she pointed out that mass gathering of people has been avoided while enhancing convenience for the prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process.
Another notable technological innovation by the Commission was the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020, she further stated.
The RTS is a Computer Application developed by the Commission, through which RSA holders transfer their RSAs from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another. Indeed, the activation of the RSA transfer provision, which deepens individual choices, is a major milestone in the implementation of the CPS.
The PenCom DG reassured stakeholders that the implementation of the CPS remains on course, saying that the maintenance of a consistent growth trajectory continues to justify the Commission’s overriding investment  philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.
She added that public enlightenment and education is one of the five Strategic Focus Areas currently pursued by the Commission, lamenting that there still exists a knowledge gap on the CPS, 17 years after the pension reform in Nigeria.
Consequently, she maintained that the Commission is committed to reinvigorating its public enlightenment and education drive in order to address this challenge.
Other Strategic Focus Areas include the resolution of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government; portfolio diversification of pension fund investments, improvement in customer service delivery across the pension industry and unrelenting pursuit of sustainable growth of the pension industry by expanding coverage of the CPS.

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Insurance

Gunmen Abduct Four Travellers In Ekiti

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Gunmen on Monday morning waylaid road users along Ayetoro Ekiti-Otun Ekiti Road and abducted no fewer than four persons before fleeing into the forest.

Sources said two buses conveying passengers from the Otun Ekiti end of the road were attacked by the gunmen, leading to the abduction of about four passengers, while other travellers escaped.

A source said that one of those who escaped told him that the gunmen took away four passengers from the two buses.

Another, who said he got the information when the hunters were informed of the incident, said, “The hunters were called that some kidnappers were operating along Ayetoro-Otun Road.

“But before they got there, the gunmen had piloted two buses into the bush. At that point, we cannot say the number of people taken into the forest, but the buses were there.

“I advised the hunters and the security agents who arrived the scene later that the kidnappers would have gone towards the Otun end and that they would not have gone too far by that time.

“Definitely, they were the ones who operated along Ayetoro-Ewu Road on Sunday evening. The Sunday operation was not successful and that was why they waited around to carry out this one,” the source said.

According to him, the kidnappers, on realising that they had missed their target on Sunday evening, resorted to attacking commercial motorcycle riders and had shot endlessly into the air to scare people.

The source said, “An okada rider was stopped at gunpoint and they took all his valuables, while another okada operator escaped into the bush. The kidnappers fled when they noticed that the other okada rider had escaped.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the kidnap incident, said, “We heard the information and we have deployed our personnel there.

“There was a kidnap incident this morning. I cannot confirm yet the number of persons abducted. It began on Sunday evening when some suspected robbers attacked a man who the Police thereafter rescued.

“However, this morning, we learnt that the suspects were the ones who abducted some road users. The Police are on their trail,” the PPRO said.

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Photo News: Sovereign Trust Insurance Partners Junior Chambers International On Back To School Project

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Segun Bankole, DGM/Head, Sales & Corporate Communications, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (left), Yetunde Stella Akinsetire, JCI Member/Project Chairperson, “Back to School Project” (JCI Lagos Metropolitan) and Abiodun Awosanya, Convention Chairman, 2021 Junior Chambers International, while Sovereign Trust was presenting to them educational materials to support the project.

Sovereign Trust Insurance Partners Junior Chambers International On Back To School Project.

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NAICOM Restates Commitment To Protect Policyholders

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has reiterated its resolve to ensure that the rights of all stakeholders in the insurance industry, especially, policyholders are well protected, assuring that the insurance operators would never default in paying genuine claims.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, gave this assurance during a courtesy visit to Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc in Lagos recently.
The NAICOM boss also promised to take the success story recorded by the insurance sector in Lagos State to the Federal Capital Territory and 35 states of the federation.
He pointed out that the government and people of Lagos State, through their commitments to insurance practice, have demonstrated that there is bright future for the underwriting sector.

Thomas maintained that as a federal government agency, NAICOM would work with the federal government to ensure insurance in entrenched at the FCT and also work with governors and other stakeholders to give insurance its right place in states.

He posited that insurance remains the bedrock for economic development, as no nation can thrive very well without a viable insurance sector.

He stated that he was thrilled by the events around insurance that are happening in Lagos State, stressing that such events would be replicated across the nation as long as he remains the Commissioner for Insurance.

He also implored insurance practitioners to work with their shoulders high as they are privileged to work in an industry that holds a vital position in the economy.

 

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