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Lagos Pays ₦14.2 Billion Accrued Pension Rights To 3,494 Retirees

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Lagos Pays ₦14.2 Billion Accrued Pension Rights To 3,494 Retirees
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…Disburses N4.2bn Under Defined Benefit Scheme In Two Years

The Lagos State Government has paid N14.71billion as accrued pension rights to 3,494 retirees, an official has said. Besides, N4,203,784,514.49 was paid through the Defined Benefits Scheme, otherwise known as ‘Pay As You Go’, between May 2019 and March 2021 to ensure that those who retired from the Civil Service enjoy life after diligent service to the State.

Reeling out figures of government expenditure on retirement benefits for public servants, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, said:

“The present administration also approved a pension bailout of N13 billion in the Year 2020 Budget. A new increment in the Retirement Bond Redemption Funding Rate from 5% to 10% of the total emolument of active workers was implemented to clear the backlog of outstanding pension obligations. This is in addition to the payment of accrued pension rights of N14.171 billion to 3,494 retirees.”

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Mrs. Ponnle spoke at the ongoing Y2021 Ministerial Press Briefing at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, organised as part of activities to mark the second anniversary of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s tenure in office.

She said: “Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu approved the payment of 33% increment for all State pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and also paid the balance of the 25% rent allowance for officers on Grade Level 07 and above, who retired between May 2000 and August 2004. The Payment took effect in January 2020.”

The Commissioner explained that there are 15 approved Pension Funds Administrators (PFA) and seven approved Insurance Companies that render pension funds management and annuity services to retirees in the State, maintaining that Lagos State is a trailblazer and pacesetter in pension matters in Nigeria, having won awards as the most pension compliant State in the Federation on several occasions.

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She stated that in line with Governor Sanwo-Olu’s policy of inclusion, the State Government ensured that pensioners over 70 years old were among the first to get the COVID-19 vaccination, and frequently engages relevant stakeholders such as the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Association of Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries on behalf of retirees.

While noting that the State Government has earned recognition for its efforts to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of pensioners, Mrs. Ponnle said the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), at its 11th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Abuja, honoured Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu with the distinguished award of “Excellence and Greater Commitment to Pensioners’ Welfare”.

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Speaking on steps taken to boost employee skills and knowledge, Mrs. Ponnle said the State Government launched the Learning Management System, an IT-based training platform with over 4,500 courses available to train staff on various subjects.

According to her, the virtual training platform has 26,076 employees already enrolled for various courses that would sharpen their skills in areas of interest and at their own pace.

Mrs. Ponnle said that a virtual interactive session between members of the Lagos State Executive Council and Civil Service employees was introduced by the Ministry to enable the exchange of ideas on chosen subjects every month. She stated the sessions have been interesting and provided participants with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with EXCO members who had engaged staffers since the initiative was introduced.

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Labour Party Anambra Not for Sale – NLC Boss

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Labour Party Anambra Not for Sale - NLC Boss
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Labour Party Anambra Not for Sale – NLC Boss

…Warns Those Parading Themselves as Party Officers to Desist Forthwith

By Abuchi Onwumelu

The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Anambra State Chapter, Comrade Jerry Nnubia (Ezennia) this afternoon warned those parading themselves as party officers to desist forthwith, emphasizing that NLC owned the party and its structure nationwide.

Addressing Newsmen in Awka, Comrade Nnubia who is the immediate past president of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) said that Labour Party were duly registered and nurtured by Nigeria Labour Congress and would not allow anybody or group to hijack it.

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His words, ‘We received the report of an ongoing scam by some persons who claim to be national officers of the Labour Party.

‘We understand that these persons led by one Mr. Julius Abure have been sneaking around Anambra State soliciting for money from governorship aspirants in the forthcoming Anambra State gubernatorial election.

‘ We wish to publicly state that these characters are unknown to Labour Party in Anambra State. There is only one national leadership of the Labour Party in Nigeria and it is under the caretaking of Comrade Maria Lebeke.

‘This interim leadership enjoys the goodwill and support of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress who are the authentic owners of the Labour Party and in whose custody the Certificate of Registration of the Labour Party is currently kept.

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‘We understand the huge temptation faced by many politicians in Anambra State to get on board the platform of the Labour Party given the popular appeal of our great party.

Labour Party Anambra Not for Sale – NLC Boss

‘We urge all gubernatorial aspirants wishing to contest under the platform of the Labour Party to please avoid doing any business with Mr. Abure and his company of journey men as such exercise would amount to nullity, waste of resources and a huge stench on their political profile and personalities as the public would see them as being heedless, desperate, and reckless.

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‘While we continue to serve the interest of workers and the masses, we reiterate that the Labour Party in Anambra State is not for sale. Comrade Jerry Nnubia
State Chairman, NLC, Anambra State Council concluded.

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Cement price was not increased – BUA

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Cement price was not increased - BUA
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Cement price was not increased – BUA

BUA Cement Plc has stated that there is no increase in price of its Cement products.

BUA company has there called on the general public to ignore any rumour of a price increase.

“We are compelled to release this statement following requests from our distributors and customers seeking clarification as to whether BUA also intends to increase the price of its cement. This is in view of a purported increase of N260 by another major Cement producer – Dangote Cement.

[“We are now aware that Dangote Cement has increased the price of its Cement (ex-factory) by N260 effective Monday, June 14, 2021. BUA is not a part of this increase and will not seek to increase the price of its cement (ex-factory) in the foreseeable future. BUA therefore restates its earlier position communicated on April 24, 2021 that it will not join in any increase in the prices of Cement for the foreseeable future.”

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” Whilst we believe it is the prerogative of any company in a free-market economy to determine the prices of their products as they deem fit, based on their urgent business needs, our position not to increase our own prices is anchored on the following:

“We are aware of the feedback and outcry from the public, and the government on the high retail price of cement in a period of economic recovery. BUA is also of the firm belief that the current retail prices of Cement are higher than normal, hence our earlier communication not to increase ex- factory prices in the foreseeable future.”

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Cement price was not increased – BUA

“Since our last communication to our customers and the public, we have noticed a slight decline in the price of cement due to the commencement of the rainy season – during which demand is reduced. We believe that any further increase in prices will hamper a continuous downward trend as well as hamper a normalization/stabilization of prices of the commodity.”

“As a responsible corporate entity, we refuse and reject associations with any actions that are deemed capable of projecting any industry we operate in as a cartel. Hence, whilst we respect that the said company has decided to increase their prices, we are not questioning the reason(s) why, but would like to make clear BUA’s position on a price increase.”

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“The Timing is not right for any increase on BUA’s part, and we do not have any justifiable business reason to increase our prices (ex-factory) anytime soon. We hope that despite this producer’s price increase, the overall retail price of cement and current downward trend in prices will not be affected negatively.”

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Naira Now Gaining Against The Dollar – See Why

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Naira Now Gaining Against The Dollar - See Why
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Naira Now Gaining Against The Dollar – See Why

The exchange rate between the naira and the dollar at the parallel market strengthened on Thursday, rising from N503/$1 to N485/$1. Initial checks by Nairametrics reveal the rebound of the naira from one of its lowest points in about 4 years held its support levels after the initial rise from N505/$1 to N497/$1 on Wednesday.

Sources inform Nairametrics that the trigger for the recent gains is related to chatter that the central bank may be gearing up to pump forex into the retail end of the market as part of its efforts to boost liquidity. Nairametrics reported recently that the CBN was going to sustain massive funding of Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators according to the President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Dr Aminu Gwadabe. He had told reporters last week that the CBN was “committed” to improving selling forex to over 5,000 operators.

Nairametrics understands this may have triggered a slow down of demand by speculators who fear they might be on the wrong side of the bargain should the CBN make good its promise. We are yet to get official confirmation if indeed, FX was sold during the week by the CBN to BDCs.

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The ABCON Chairman has also chastised speculators, blaming them for the recent depreciation of the naira and accusing them of creating artificial scarcity in the market.

“The ABCON and CBN have observed with disdain the speculative behaviour currently beclouding the market with the misinformation that the CBN has adopted I&E window as its official rate. The above information is not true because as operators we still funded our accounts at our normal rates of N393/$ and not the I&E window rates for our operation this Friday.’’ Gwadabe.

BDC Operators also suggested earlier in the month that they were considering banning street trading of forex as a strategy for curbing FX speculation. They called it ‘Operation No Street Trading.’

Naira Now Gaining Against The Dollar – See Why

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“All operators are to collaborate in bringing down the forex rates in the market; street trading by BDCs should be discouraged/banned and ABCON will commence operation ‘no street trading ’. BDCs should improve return rendition to regulatory authorities; margin review to meet operational requirements; widening the scope of transactions; digitalization of BDC operations. ABCON to punish errant members; ABCON compliance officer and staff to commence nationwide supervision of BDC operations.” ABCON

Exchange rate
Dealers who spoke to Nairametrics on Thursday confirmed an exchange rate of N485/$1 if you wish to sell dollars and N492/$1 should you want to buy in the parallel market respectively. This also suggests without any empirical data that the sell pressure might be sustained in the short term.

In a major boost to the outlook of Nigeria’s forex supply, oil prices have remained above $70 per barrel with some analysts predicting it could rise past $80 and soar to $100 as the world gradually returns to full capacity. Nigeria relies heavily on oil for over 50% of its forex supplies.

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A reliable source also informed Nairametrics that the CBN is considering closing the disparity between the official market and parallel market rates but prefers a rate that is stronger than the N485/$1 currently being traded. The CBN hopes to achieve this by injecting more forex into the market.

Despite the fall in forex prices on the black market, those sourcing for wire transfer forex still pay above N500/$1. A source informed Nairametrics that they purchased for about N505/$ on Thursday via wire transfers to a foreign currency denominated account.

The World Bank recently blamed CBN Policies for Nigeria’s forex woes calling on the apex bank to allow greater flexibility in the forex market so as to instil confidence in the market and open the floodgates for foreign investment into the country. The CBN recently adopted the NAFEX rate published by the FMDQOTC as its official reference price.

Nairametrics.com

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