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Economy

Employers Vital in Pension Scheme—Stanbic IBTC

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Employers Vital in Pension Scheme—Stanbic IBTC

Employers Vital in Pension Scheme—Stanbic IBTC

By Dipo Olowookere

Nigeria’s largest pension fund administrator (PFA), Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, has described as fundamental the role of employers in the country’s nascent Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), a status that obligates them to highlight the importance and value of pension provision among their employees.

Speaking during an employers’ forum organized by the PFA in Enugu, which held on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, participants, drawn from employer-organizations spanning both the private and public sectors, including governments, parastatals, ministries, companies, and universities, among others, noted that such stakeholder engagements will help to boost enrolment and strengthen the pension industry in Nigeria.

This was as employers of labour in Nigeria’s South East geo-political zone commended the PFA for its resolute commitment to enhancing awareness about the CPS and its enormous benefits to Nigerians and the economy.

In his welcome address, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Mr Eric Fajemisin, said the PFA is keen about having the over 73 million employed Nigerians enrolled in the CPS to enable them benefit from its provisions, especially to plan for retirement, which is inevitable.

Mr Fajemisin, who was represented by the Executive Director, Operations, Mr Steve Elusope, said the role of employers in the success of the scheme is pivotal as the Pension Reform Act specifically mandates them to help their workers have retirement plans through the opening of retirement savings accounts, funding of those accounts and regular remittance of their pension contributions.

“There is a clear need to ensure the rapid growth of the Contributory Pension Scheme by increasing its uptake by Nigerians. Latest figures from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics showed that the country has 73.4 million working Nigerians.

“Of this number only about 10% (7.3 million) are captured in the CPS. This forum is designed to bring together employers and pension experts where knowledge and information can be shared on the pension business and how to increase participation in the scheme,” Mr Fajemisin said.

The employers’ forum, titled Partnering to Deliver Excellent Pension Administration Services, will be held in eight cities across the country this year. The first edition held in Benin, Edo state on 23 March 2017.

The initiative was launched in 2014 as a platform to engage with employers, as a crucial anchor of the nascent pension scheme, to sign up to the CPS.

This year’s forum is focusing on derivable benefits of participation in the pension scheme; safeguards put in place to protect pension funds; expected participants in the pension scheme; ways to enhance collaborations to move Nigeria’s pension industry forward; the role of an employer/employee in the Contributory Pension Scheme; the challenges and the opportunities in the pension industry; and how pension assets can be deployed to support sustainable development in the country.

Other equally important issues examined are contributors’ access to their RSAs, claims processing, withdrawal from the pension scheme, and returns on investment on pension funds, annuity and regulatory oversight, among others.

Head, Computation & Remittance, National Pension Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Usman, who described the session as a positive experience, said the defined contribution accounts as defined in the PRA 2014 has become a very important income source for post-retirement comfort which must be embraced by all. He said the industry regulator has introduced numerous measures to enhance participation in the scheme, including establishment of regional offices to receive inquiries and other pertinent issues.

Also, Head, Business Development, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Mrs Nike Bajomo, said the PFA’s significant breadth of knowledge in the market, backed by the expertise and experience of Stanbic IBTC Group, a member of the over 153-year-old Standard Bank Group, will remain instrumental in delivering value-driven services to clients. Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, she said, has over 1.5 million retirement savings account holders nationwide, with assets under management in excess of N1.88 trillion. It pays approximately N1.8 billion to over 44,000 retirees monthly and over N261 billion has been paid to retirees since the PFA commenced operations in 2006.

Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited is a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars-Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group is the largest African financial institution by assets and earnings. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent.

Standard Bank has been in operation for over 153 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services organisations in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

MTN, NGX Partnership Has Attracted Younger Investors to Capital Market—Popoola

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attracted younger investors NGX

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The chief executive of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, has described the deal signed between the bourse and MTN Nigeria in 2022 as a game-changer, saying it has successfully attracted younger investors to the capital market.

Recall that in February 2022, both parties sealed a partnership aimed at using technology to offer financial securities to retail investors who had stayed away from the capital market.

The two-year deal was sealed to promote financial literacy further and enhance retail participation in the Nigerian capital market. It was made to develop capital market solutions collaboratively, leverage technology to support data dissemination and technology-as-a-service, promote capacity development and eliminate barriers to retail participation in the capital market.

Yesterday, to mark the first anniversary of the collaboration, the chief executive of MTN Group, the parent firm of MTN Nigeria, Mr Ralph Mupita, was hosted to a closing gong ceremony.

At the event, he said within a year of signing the MOU, a lot has been achieved due to the hard work invested on both sides in forging and sustaining a productive partnership:

“At MTN, we believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our customers not only stay connected but can access increasing value and better services through our network, deepening their participation in the digital economy.

“Our collaboration with NGX gave us the opportunity to empower our customer base with the tools and knowledge to engage effectively with the capital market and meet their financial and investment objectives.

“For this, NGX deserves to be commended for democratising access to financial securities and thereby empowering more Nigerians,” he stated.

Also, the chief executive of MTN Nigeria, Mr Karl Toriola, said, “We will continue to identify other areas of cooperation with NGX, and we look forward to a continued mutually beneficial partnership that will contribute to the inclusive growth of the Nigerian economy.”

On his part, Mr Popoola commended MTN for its unwavering efforts in advancing Nigeria’s technology landscape through substantial investments in infrastructure and digital transformation.

“We are proud to acknowledge the advancements made through the successful public offering in 2021 and the MoU signed last year. These initiatives have successfully attracted a notable portion of the younger generation to the capital market, aligning with our goal to increase retail participation.

“I would also like to specially acknowledge the efforts of the financial advisers on the landmark offering led by Chapel Hill Denham.

“We are optimistic about the prospects of a mutually beneficial partnership with MTN that will reinforce the Nigerian economy and foster sustainable growth for the African continent,” he stated.

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Economy

Naira Flat at Official Market as CBN Succumbs to Reps

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Godwin Emefiele Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira recorded no movement against the American Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Tuesday, remaining at N461.50/$1.

This came as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, bowed to pressure from the House of Representatives to waive the deadline for the return of old currency notes to banks for the new ones.

The apex bank had said old N200, N500, and N1,000 currency notes not returned to the bank on or before February 10, 2023, would lose their values, but the lawmakers argued otherwise, citing a part of the CBN Act, which says though such banknotes can lose their legal tender status, holders could still return them to the banks for a swap.

Yesterday, after dodging the lawmakers for a while, Mr Emefiele appeared before them and said Nigerians could still return their old notes after the deadline. This excited the lawmakers.

This development eased the tension in the system and brought stability to the local currency, coupled with a pullback in demand for forex in the official market.

During the session, FX trades valued at $85.04 million were recorded, 36.4 per cent or $65.45 million lower than the $150.49 million recorded in the previous session.

It was a similar situation at the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) forex window as the Naira showed no movement against the United States Dollar, trading at N759/$1.

But in the parallel market, the Nigerian currency appreciated against the American Dollar by N2 to settle at N750/$1 compared with Monday’s value of N752/$1.

Sadly, in the interbank window, the domestic currency fell against the Pound Sterling by 88 Kobo to trade at N570.93/£1 versus the preceding day’s N570.05/£1 and against the Euro, it lost N1.09 to settle at N502.51/€1, in contrast to the previous day’s N501.42/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, there was a major green swing as investors await the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday decision on a potential interest rate increase.

Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 4.4 per cent to trade at $0.3871, Ripple (XRP) gained 3.7 per cent to sell at $0.4056, Litecoin (LTC) rose by 2.5 per cent to $97.14, Bitcoin (BTC) improved by 1.2 per cent to $23,158.47, Dogecoin (DOGE) jumped by 0.9 per cent to $0.0925, and Ethereum (ETH) expanded by 0.8 per cent to $1,584.00.

However, Binance Coin (BNB) pointed downwards by 0.8 per cent to sell at $310.03, Solana (SOL) slumped by 0.6 per cent to $23.94, while Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) remained unchanged at $1.00 apiece.

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Economy

Stock Exchange Rises 0.15% as Market Cap Nears N29trn

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Local Stock Exchange

By Dipo Olowookere

Sustained bargain-hunting activity stretched the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited further by 0.15 per cent on Tuesday, following strong corporate earnings.

The 2022 fourth-quarter results of companies on the stock exchange gave investors an overview of what the full-year earnings would look like, resulting in buying stocks expected to pay good cash rewards in the coming months.

From an analysis of the market data, the insurance counter appreciated by 2.98 per cent, the industrial goods sector rose by 0.03 per cent, while the consumer goods and banking indices closed lower by 0.17 per cent and 0.03 per cent, respectively, with the energy space closing flat.

At the close of business, the All-Share Index (ASI) grew by 80.84 points to 53,238.67 points from 53,157.83 points, while the market capitalisation nudged closer to N29 trillion with a N44 billion increase to N28.998 trillion from N28.954 trillion.

The activity chart revealed that traders transacted 250.2 million shares worth N5.9 billion yesterday in 4,328 deals as against the 201.4 million shares worth N5.7 billion traded in 4,332 deals on Monday, indicating a decline in the number of deals by 0.09 per cent and an improvement in the trading volume and value by 24.23 per cent and 3.51 per cent, respectively.

Universal Insurance was the busiest stock on Tuesday as it transacted 48.6 million units, with GTCO trading 14.2 million units at the close of transactions. Zenith Bank sold 12.5 million shares, Access Holdings exchanged 11.6 million stocks, and Unity Bank traded 10.9 million equities.

The trio of Veritas Kapital, Living Trust Insurance and Geregu Power gained 10.00 per cent each during the session to settle at 22 Kobo, N1.98, and N193.60 apiece, as John Holt rose by 9.92 per cent to N1.33, while SCOA Nigeria increased by 9.78 per cent to N1.01.

On the flip side, the duo of Chams and NCR Nigeria lost 10.00 per cent each to close at 27 Kobo and N3.24, respectively. Unity Bank shed 9.09 per cent to sell at 50 Kobo, Royal Exchange depreciated by 8.97 per cent to 71 Kobo, and Japaul dropped 8.33 per cent to quote at 33 Kobo.

Analysis of the price movement chart indicated that the market breadth ended positive, with 29 price gainers and 18 price losers, representing a very strong investor sentiment.

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