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PTAD Begs NUP To Shelve Protest

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The management of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has pleaded with the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) to shelve the planned protest at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, tomorrow April 23

The NUP at its 11th quadrennial Delegate Conference resolved to go on protest due to the delay in the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits occasioned by the recently approved minimum wage.

PTAD stated that “As a responsible agency of government saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the payment of pension benefits to pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and their welfare, we are encouraged to appeal to our respected Pensioners that there is no justification for the protest after the meeting with PTAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme.”
The Directorate said it held a meeting with the National Executives of the NUP led by Dr. Abel Afolayan on the March 16, 2021 where the issue of the implementation of the pension adjustment was openly discussed and that the union gave their understanding. PTAD restated that the EXCO of NUP were told at the meeting that the implementation is most likely to commence at the end of April, 2021,  going by the submissions that had been made by all stakeholders.
“However, there has been a little delay due to unforeseen circumstances, but we believe the implementation can still start as early as May 2021,” PTAD explained.
“Our senior citizens have nothing to fear because we have a President that has demonstrated greater commitment to the welfare of our pensioners through PTAD more than any other President we have had in the past. Therefore, the issue of implementation will not be different. The matter is very important to the President.
“We know the pensioners have waited enough, although the issue of the Covid-19 played a significant role in the delay, we wish to encourage our Senior Citizens to trust that the consequential adjustment will be made without further delay. There is no reason for this protest,” PTAD urged the pensioners.

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E-News

Gunmen Abduct 13 Travellers In Niger

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The Niger police command, on Wednesday, said 13 travellers were abducted by gunmen at Konar Barau village in Rafi LGA of the state.

Monday Kuryas, Niger commissioner of police, confirmed the incident in an interview with NAN in Minna, the state capital.

According to Kuryas, the divisional police officer (DPO) of Zungeru reported that one Mubarak Idris of Kwanawa village, Sokoto state, reported the matter to the police “at about 1530 hours”.

Idris, identified as the driver of a bus with registration number LGT 12 XWX, was said to have been conveying 18 passengers from Yauri in Kebbi state, when the incident occurred.

The travellers, mostly fishermen, were said to be on their way to Yenagoa in Bayelsa state, when they were attacked.

The police said Idris reported that on getting to a sharp bend at Konar Barau along the Tegina-Minna road, some “suspected bandits in military uniform” attacked the vehicle and took away 13 passengers and his “motor boy”.

The driver also said the gunmen dispossessed him of N131,500.

Speaking on the development, the police commissioner said a manhunt for the victims has commenced.

He also urged residents to come forward if they have useful information that can lead to the arrest of the gunmen.

“We appeal to residents to volunteer reliable information that could aid in apprehending miscreants in the state,” he said.

“We are doing everything humanly possible to ensure the protection of lives and property in our area of supervision.

“All we require from residents is vital intelligence information that could aid the security personnel deployed across the state on movement of dubious characters in their midst for necessary security action.”

The development comes months after over 100 pupils were abducted from Salihu Tanko Islamiyya school, located in the same LGA where the travellers were kidnapped.

The children regained their freedom after spending 16 weeks with their abductors, but six of the pupils died in captivity.

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#EndSARSMemorial: Police Tear-gas Protesters At Lekki Tollgate 

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The protest to commemorate #EndSARS first anniversary took a different turn as the police fired teargas at protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos.

Nigerians in Lagos, Abuja and some other states poured into the streets on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

The #EndSARS protest of October 2020 was a campaign against police brutality, harassment, extortion and extrajudicial killing by the special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

Speaking to journalists shortly after, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, said the protesters told him they were going to end the demonstration by 10 am.

Odumosu said any protest beyond the agreed time is constituting a nuisance.

“Between 8am and 10am, anything after 10 am is a nuisance,” Odumosu said.

“I discussed with them and they said they will end the protest by 10 o’clock. Any other person doing it now… that’s nuisance…. that have guns, the ones with machete, hammer, are they protesters or miscreants?

“The protesters are free; they have done their thing and left. Any other person remaining are the miscreants, hoodlums that want to capitalise on that to attack innocent people and start robbing people. We will not allow that.”

The CP also confirmed the arrest of a journalist and said he has ordered his release.

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Onanuga Advocates Functioning Social Security System In Nigeria

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By Sola Alabadan

In view of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, the former Director General of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) said there is the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.

Mrs. Onanuga made this call while delivering the theme paper “Covid-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors” at the sixth edition of the national conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondent (NAIPCO) held recently in Lagos.

She said “The World Bank estimates that the covid-19 crisis will result in 10.9 million Nigerians falling into poverty by January 2022. If we have learned anything, the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have highlighted the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.

However, she lamented that “unfortunately, the social security system in Nigeria is next to zero; so you need to plan for yourself so that if anything happens, you need to be able to stand.”

Mrs. Onanuga stressed  that in this era of COVID-19 pandemic, insurance and pension is what Nigerians need to lean on for a hopeful future.

“If you really want to remain in business, you must take insurance, in the event of sudden occurrence like the pandemic, insurance will help you to stand back on your feet; in the event of you finding that because of the pandemic a breadwinner of a family dies, there must be a buffer to ensure that the family is not affected.

“Therefore, more than ever before, you find out that actually there is need for both insurance and pension products to ensure that we continue to live and meet our need of sustainable living, healthy living, wealthy living and of course, continuity in business. That is why it is important for all of us to identify that we have these needs for growth and continuity by taking up both insurance and pension products,” Mrs. Onanuga said.

In her goodwill message, Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, who was represented at the event by the Commission’s Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, emphasised the need for Nigerians to embrace contributory pension, as a social security safety net.

He said the issue of gathering retirees physically in various locations across the country for verification is now a thing of the past with the online verification and enrolment portal recently launched by the Commission.

According to him, “Before now, we would congregate several retirees in different centres of the country to do the enrolment for the Treasury Funded retirees, and now that can be done online.

“I’m happy to announce that over 3,000 people have been enrolled through our online portal out of 11,000 expected to retire this year.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olorundare Thomas, called on Nigerians in all walks of life to embrace insurance as risk-mitigating mechanism.

The Commissioner for Insurance was represented by Assistant Director, Market Development, Adeyemi Abubakar.

He congratulated the NAIPCO members, for their consistency in organising the conference, as a platform to ensure that they reach out to the public with their reportage on the insurance sector to ensure the growth of the insurance business in Nigeria.

The Commissioner for Insurance reminded NAIPCO of their role as purveyors of information, awareness creation and catalysts of economic growth, just as he solicited the continued cooperation of the Association for the growth of the industry.

He said for the Nigerian insurance market to record significant growth and contributes adequately to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), all hands must be on deck, noting that the media has a critical role to play in this especially in sensitising the public on the benefits of insurance.

Thomas believes that deepening insurance penetration can only be possible through a deliberate and sustained insurance awareness which, he said, will also lead to the realization of the Federal Government’s financial inclusion initiative.

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