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Kaduna To Pay N30,000 Minimum Pension In March




The Kaduna State Government says it will begin the payment of N30,000 new minimum pensions to its retirees on the old Defined Benefits Pension scheme this month.

This was contained in a statement issued by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser on Media and Communications to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Thursday in Kaduna.

The statement said the new wage would upgrade 11,511 pensioners, who were previously earning less than N30,000 monthly pension.

He said all the government agencies had received the circular from the Office of the Head of Service to effect the new pension structure.

“Following the decision of the Kaduna State Executive Council to increase the minimum pension to N30,000 monthly, the Head of Service, Bariatu Mohammed, has issued the necessary circular to government agencies to implement from March 2020,’’ he said.

According to the governor’s aide, the circular directs ‘’the agencies to comply and implement the directive of the State Executive Council (EXCO), which recently reviewed upward the minimum pension in the state.’’

Quoting a section of the circular, dated March 11, Mr Adekeye stated that the increase was part of the state government’s “continuous efforts to ensure welfare for both serving and retired public servants.’’

The circular noted that the decision of the EXCO “would no doubt improve the living standard of this category of senior citizens.’’

The statement recalled that some of the pensioners were receiving pensions as low as N3,000 before the increase.

Mr Adekeye further stated that the decision aligned the minimum pension payable to retirees on the old Defined Benefits Scheme with the new national minimum wage.

“A report presented to the state EXCO noted that as at November 2019, 6,452 of 10,815 state government pensioners earned less than N30,000 as monthly pension.

“At the local government level, 5,059 of 9,295 pensioners earned less than N30,000 monthly.”

He pointed out that although the pensioners would be better off, the upward review would cost the state extra N200 million monthly.

Mr Adekeye noted that the state began the implementation of a Contributory Pension Scheme on January 1, 2017, adding that Pencom assessed the scheme highly.

‘’However, the state continues to discharge its obligations to workers, who retired before that date, whose pensions are covered by the Defined Benefits Scheme,’’ he further stated.

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




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




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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APC Denies Lagos Being Forced To Repeal Pension Law





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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