The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has advised all Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders to update their data regularly through their various Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
Mr Peter Aghahowa, Head, Corporate Communication of PenCom gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said one of the reasons the payment of some retirees’ pension were delayed was because they were not coming forward for data recapturing which provides the basic information.
Aghahowa said the process of data recapturing required the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN), National Identification Number (NIN), fingerprint and other basic information.
According to him, the information provided by RSA holders help the PFAs in updating previous data about their clients.
This, he said ensured transparency in their data, which was the essence of the recapture.
“For people retiring, its very important to recapture. This is because if they don’t, they will find it difficult to access their funds. Some people who still have time to retire don’t take recapturing important till they are set to retire, ” said Aghahowa.
The spokesman said the commission collected a lot of information at the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), but later started cleaning up the data for improved service delivery.
He also said PenCom recently came up with an enhanced contributory registration system, adding that it was all about data integrity.
The spokesman noted that the PFAs were also asked to reach out to their clients and get the information so they could update their data.
“Its the duty of the PFAs to reach out to these clients and most of them have been doing so. Infact, some PFAs’ have been innovative in their quarterly statements sent to clients.
“For example, there has been advertisements. In all fairness, they have tried to reach out in several ways and its still ongoing. Remember to come for your recapture, ” he said.
Edited by: Olawunmi Ashafa/Ese E. Ekama
4 in court over alleged criminal conspiracy, intimidation
A Gwagwalada Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja on Tuesday admitted four men to N100,000 bail each, after they were docked over alleged criminal conspiracy.
The accused persons – Sunday Oguche, 41, Ofoma Atama, 30, Tanko Clinton, 24, and Ekechi Peter, 29 – had been arraigned over criminal conspiracy, intimidation and assault.
The Prosecutor, Abdullahi Tanko, told the court that on July 28, one Ikem Onyeka of Area 3, Abuja came to Gwagwalada Police Station and filed a report against the accused persons.
According to the prosecutor, Onyeka reported that the accused persons assaulted him when he took a quit notice ordering them to vacate a building they were using for their business.
Onyeka alleged that the first accused, along with his workers – the second, third and fourth accused – assaulted and intimidated him.
The prosecutor said that the offence contravened sections 96, 396 and 262 of the penal code.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
The Magistrate, Yusuf Ibrahim, admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of N100,000 each with one reasonable surety in like sum.
He said that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
Ibrahim said that such sureties must depose to an affidavit to forfeit the bail bond if the defendants jumped bail.
“The sureties and defendants must all present their valid means of identification to the satisfaction of the court or their Bank Verification Number (BVN),” he ordered.
He adjourned the case until Sept. 9 for hearing.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
Eid-el-Kabir: Livestock dealers decry low patronage in Adamawa
Less than three days to the Eid-el-Kabir festivities, livestock dealers in Adamawa have decried low patronage amid unprecedented hike in prices.
A cross section of the dealers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , in separate interviews in Jimeta and Yola markets, described the market condition as discouraging.
Ladan Mohammed, a ram dealer at Yola market, said the was recording low sales as against the high patronage during the previous festive season.
“There is significant increase in ram prices due to high cost animals feeds,” he said.
Another dealer, Musa Bala, said he was spending much on feeding the animals causing a heavy drain in his pockets.
Bala noted that they keep the animals for a longer period of time due low of patronage, adding that the trend exposed them to losses.
He, however, expressed the hope that the market condition would improve in the next coming days as the workers got their salaries.
“A medium size bag of weed sold at N2, 500 as against it’s old price of N1,000 during the previous festive season.
“Prices are slightly up to cover for the expenses on animal feeds,” he said.
A medium size bull sold at N250,000 and small size cow costs N125,000 as against N220,000 and N100,000, it sold within the same period last year.
We’ll do everything possible to address pension issues in Benue – Gov. Ortom
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue says his administration is doing everything possible to address all pension-related issues in the state.
The governor stated this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Makurdi.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor was reacting to a statement credited to Benue Renaissance Network (BRN), where it said it would impress on the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Governors’ Forum to intervene in the pension issue in the state.
“The state government has been discussing with the pensioners, who have also appreciated the efforts of the governor.
“The present administration inherited a total of N70 billion salaries, pensions and gratuity arrears when it took over in 2015, but has been able to reduce the figure to less than N40 billion.
“In addition, the Ortom administration has domesticated the PENCOM Law in the state, which is a sure way of ending the problem of accumulated pensions and gratuities.
“The group must also appreciate the fact that the government is constrained by the inadequacy of funds to be able to clear the outstanding pensions and gratuities,” he said.
The statement said that it was the earnest desire of the governor to address the pension matter, stressing that he had written to the Federal Government, requesting for assistance to enable him tackle the challenge.
“The governor’s request is currently being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Federal Government is fully aware that the issue of pensions in Benue is not a deliberate attempt to deny the retirees of their entitlements.
“The government at the centre knows that Ortom is genuinely concerned and worried about the matter and has requested for the intervention of Mr President to enable him clear the outstanding pensions and gratuities.
“We, however, wish to correct the wrong impression created by the group in its statement that pensioners, who staged a protest at the Benue Peoples House in 2019 were beaten by thugs. No one manhandled any of the pensioners,” it said.
The statement said that it was on record that at the time the said pensioners staged their protest, the governor was out of the state, but directed that the senior citizens be taken into the Peoples House, accorded respect and given a place to stay, as he was already on his way back to the state.
“Sadly, the pensioners rejected the offer and chose to stay at the gate.
“As soon as the governor arrived, he met with them at the gate, accompanied by top government officials and pleaded with them to come into the Peoples House so they could discuss better.
“In addition, the governor informed them that he had already released over N600 million for the payment of their entitlements.
“The retirees refused to heed the governor’s advice and insisted on staying at the entrance to the Benue Peoples House,” it said.
The statement urged the group to desist from falsehood, such as claiming that the pensioners spent two weeks sleeping at Benue Peoples House gate, when, in truth, they ‘voluntarily’ spent six days.
“While no one will prevent members of the group from expressing their opinions, they should do so without allowing themselves to be used by some politicians to cause mischief and defame other people,” it said.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Retirees’ benefits: NLC commends FG’s decision to release N7.45 billion
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the Federal Government’s decision to release N7.45 billion accrued rights and benefits of Federal civil servants to the retirees Retirement Savings Account (RSAs).
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, gave this commendation in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the gesture by the Federal Government was indeed commendable.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the NLC leadership had, on September 19, 2019, written to the Ministry of Labour and Employment seeking the remittance of accrued rights and benefits of Federal civil servants to the retirees’ RSAs.
“We wish to commend the Federal Government for its recent decision to release the total sum of N7.45 billion Accrued Rights and Benefits into the RSA of Federal retirees covering April and May 2019.
“This responsive and responsible move by the Federal Government has come at a very critical time considering the adversity imposed on our retirees and pensioners by the novel Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
He called on government to also consider the plight of retirees from June 2019 to July 2020, and expressed optimism that the request would be kindly considered.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare (NAN)