A well structured haulage rate and services for road transport is to be introduced by government following the 40 per cent drop in container haulage charges, BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports
Haulage charges which has gone up from N120,000 to N700,000 within the last two years in Lagos due perennial gridlock and extortion at port access roads are gradually coming down due to slight improvement on the roads.
Prior to the latest development, importers had been paying exorbitant charges and high rent on goods to terminal operators and truckers because of delay caused by traffic gridlock and port inefficiency.
Last year, the National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero, complained that the cost of transporting a 20 feet container from Tin Can/Apapa ports to Alaba International Market in Lagos jumped from N200,000 to N400,000, while 40 feet container cost between N700,000 and N900,000.
Also, he noted that the cost of transporting a 20 feet container from Tin Can/Apapa to Kaduna was N900,000, while it cost N1 million to transport a 40 feet container from N600,000 previously.
Other charges include the cost of evacuating and transporting containers, illegal charges by shipping lines, extortion by security operatives and loss of container deposits due to late return of empty containers.
Another factor is that extortion by security operatives has been reduced as the Presidential Task Force in charge of traffic at the Apapa port has reduced the gridlock.
The task force was set up as a result of a presidential directive, which ordered the removal of trucks on bridges and roads in Apapa as well as the restoration of law and order on the port roads.
The Vice President of National Association of Roads Transport Owners (NARTO) Dry Cargo section, Mr Abdullahi Mohammed, told New Telegraph that truckers had stopped paying between N60, 000 and N70, 000 to security operatives.
He said that extortion at the port road had assumed in a new dimension, stressing that some security operatives not assigned to the port roads were using hoodlums to extort money from truck drivers.
He said: “We have stopped paying money for parking space. You know before now, truck drivers pay as much as N60,000 to N70,000 to the officials of the Nigerian Navy and other military formations just to gain entrance into the port.”
In order to bring sanity to the road, the truck transit park being constructed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing at Tincan Island was forcefully opened three weeks ago by the Presidential Task Force in order to forcefully to decongest the road.
Also, Abdullahi stressed that the Lilypond container terminal at Ijora had been temporarily converted to holding bay for trucks and empty containers.
Also, as part of efforts to tackle the challenges of doing business within the port environment, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, also noted that the management of the authority had introduced the automation of Call Up System (CUS) for trucks and other incentives given for the transfer of cargo through barges from Ikorodu, Epe and Ijegun among others.
The outcome, according to Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), had made haulage fares charged by truck owners to drop by 40 per cent.
It was learnt that importers now paid N240,000 instead of N400,000 for 20 feet container and N420,000 instead of N700,000 for 40 feet container within Lagos.
As part of efforts to further reduce the cost of container haulage, NSC noted that it had presented new rates to stakeholders at a conference in Lagos.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Barrister Hassan Bello, noted that plans were ongoing to establish a well-structured haulage rates and services for the road transport sector for port stakeholders.
He said: “The haulage rates are determined by supply and demand, but there should be benchmarking so that foreigners and investors would know that they have an idea of how much it costs.”
According to Bello, the council embarked on consultation with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), National Union of Petroleum and National Gas Union (NUPENG), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other unions on how to bring the haulage changes down in the port industry.
Bello attributed the fall in haulage rate to efforts of the Presidential Task Force monitoring the traffic.
He said that the haulage rate was artificial because it was occasioned by the traffic and extortion.
Bello said: “Now that the traffic is leaving and there is order and sanity, the traffic rate has dropped. We are also helping by bringing sanity into the terminals, sometimes; it is what happens in the terminal that causes the traffic, so we try to achieve efficiency in the terminals so that there would not be congestion.”
Bello also assured that the new haulage rate coming up would guide transporters and port users.
There is need for government to establish a well-structured haulage rates and services to encourage importers to use the nation’s seaports. This will reduce diversion of cargoes to neighbouring countries’ ports.
2018: Nigeria lost N39bn to tanker, trailer accidents –FRSC
he Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has revealed that Nigeria lost over N39 billion in 2018 alone to trailer and tanker-related road accidents.
This was disclosed during the week in Lagos by the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi.
He said: “Nigeria lost N39 billion to trailer and tanker crashes in 2018 alone, with about 650 articulated vehicles involved, while over 90 per cent of them had been used for haulage transportation for over 30 years.
“Haulage has become the most utilized way of inter-city movements of goods and services, while the country consumes an estimated 60 million liters of refined petroleum products per day.’’
Oyeyemi also revealed the major challenges that FRSC believes to be the causes of the fatal tanker and trailer accidents in Nigeria. Some of them include: Neglect of the use of retro-reflective type of tapes (for night visibility), use of unnecessary additional lights, indiscriminate parking especially along main corridors on streets, Lane indiscipline and use of unlicensed drivers (motor boys).
In a general overview, Oyeyemi concluded that adhering to the new “safe-to-load” programme in the distribution of all major oil products by trailers and tankers in Nigeria will curb this depressing rate of accidents. This programme had been structured such that it only allows large vehicles in approved good condition to transport dry and wet cargoes on Nigerian roads.
Toyota cuts CO2 emissions in new Yaris hybrid
he styling of the new Yaris, with its prominent wheel arches and wide grille dominating the front, gives it an appealing, “ready to go” character, according to Toyota.
The new Toyota Yaris hybrid pairs a three-cylinder engine with a lithium ion battery for the first time to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent compared with the outgoing hybrid, the automaker says.
Toyota Europe will offer its latest-generation Yaris small-segment car with gasoline and full hybrid powertrains. There will be no diesel version, as with the current model.
The new small car will initially be launched as a hybrid only, with gasoline versions arriving later, Toyota said in a news release on Wednesday.
A 20 per cent improvement over the current Yaris hybrid would reduce CO2 emissions figure to 67 grams per km, meaning its emissions would be closer to a plug-in hybrid than a standard full hybrid.
A switch to lithium-ion from nickel metal hydride has cut the battery’s weight by 27 per cent, Toyota said. Toyota did not give a figure for battery capacity.
The new Yaris is the first car to be built on Toyota’s new modular small-car platform, a variant of the TNGA platform that underpins the new Corolla compact and CH-R and RAV4 crossovers. The new platform, called GA-B, is said to improve handling thanks to increased rigidity and a lower center of gravity.
The platform also allows designers to create visually distinctive models with appealing proportions, Toyota said.
The styling of the new Yaris, with its prominent wheel arches and wide grille dominating the front, gives it an appealing, “ready to go” character, according to Toyota.
The new car is 5 mm shorter than the outgoing Yaris, which is 3,950 mm long. The new car is also 15 mm lower and 50 mm wider.
Toyota is strongly promoting the safety benefits of the new Yaris, describing it as the safest in its segment. The company said it is the first small car to use a center airbag, which deploys between the two front seats.
Active safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, which can brake the car automatically to a complete stop, and a lane-keeping assist. Both are standard.
Toyota will continue to build the Yaris at its Valenciennes plant in northern France. The automaker has invested 300 million euros ($330 million) to bring the TNGA platform to the plant, a move that Toyota said would increase capacity to 300,000 cars annually. The company added a third shift at Valenciennes in 2014 to bring production to 220,000 cars annually.
Equipment inside the Yaris includes a touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard and a 10-inch head-up display that projects information such as satellite navigation directions onto the windscreen. A heated steering wheel is also available.
Toyota describes the materials used in the interior as high quality and highlights the use of a felt trim finish on the door panels. The company said its aim was to give the interior “a sensory quality” that places more importance on colors, operation of the controls, interior ambient lighting and graphics.
The size of the steering wheel has been reduced slightly as part of a design layout that Toyota calls “eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” because of its intention to reduce distractions for the driver.
The hybrid version of the Yaris has become a successful model for Toyota since it was first launched in Europe in 2012. Almost half of the 130,967 Yaris models sold in the first six months of this year in the region were hybrids, Toyota Europe said.
The model has had few electrified competitors in the segment, but the new Yaris will go up against the new Honda Jazz, which arrives next year as a hybrid model only. Like the Yaris, the Jazz will be powered by a 1.5-liter engine boosted by an electric motor.
Deliveries of the Yaris hybrid will start in the second half of next year.
Toyota will launch 1.0-liter and 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline models at a later date but only in selected markets, the automaker said, without giving more detail
IMB reports 30% piracy drop on Nigerian waters
he International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported a drop in piracy attacks in Nigeria in the third quarter of 2019. IMB said in its latest report, “Nigeria has reduced Q3 piracy attacks from 41 in 2018 to 29 in 2019,” which represents nearly 30 per cent year-on-year reduction.
This is as the Deep Blue Project, a comprehensive maritime security architecture initiated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in collaboration with the military and other security agencies, comes into operation.
The global maritime security watchdog also said there was a decrease in worldwide piracy incidents during the first nine months of 2019, compared with the corresponding period in 2018, in a fall to a five-year low.
Director of IMB, a specialised division of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Pottengal Mukundan, said: ‘’119 incidents have been reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Center in 2019, compared to 156 incidents for the same period in 2018. Overall, the 2019 incidents include 95 vessels boarded, 10 vessels fired upon, 10 attempted attacks, and four vessels hijacked. The number of crew taken hostage through the first nine months has declined from 112 in 2018 to 49 in 2019.”
However, according to IMB, piracy and armed robbery attacks remain a challenge in the Gulf of Guinea.
The decline in piracy and armed robbery attacks on vessels came as the Deep Blue Project, Nigeria’s Integrated Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, began to yield results. The project is handled by an Israeli firm, Homeland Security International (HLSI). It involves the training of field and technical operatives drawn from the various strata of the security services and NIMASA as well as acquisition of assets to combat maritime crime, such as fast intervention vessels, surveillance aircraft, and other facilities, and establishment of a command and control centre for data collection and information sharing to aid targeted enforcement.
The Deep Blue Project aims at building a formidable integrated surveillance and security architecture that will broadly combat maritime crime and criminalities in Nigeria’s waterways up to the Gulf of Guinea.
The timing of the IMB report also coincides with the conclusion of the Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC 2019) hosted by Nigeria, and coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and NIMASA, under the theme, “Managing and Securing our Waters.”
With the stated objective of, among others, defining the nature and scope of coordinated responses to maritime insecurity in relation to interventions, the conference enabled global maritime leaders to review the progress made in the fight against maritime crime while charting strategies for the future.
Border closure: IMF backs Nigeria, urges speedy resolution of issue
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has backed Nigeria’s closure of its borders with some neighbouring countries over issues bordering on illegal trade.
Mr Abebe Selassie, the Director of the African Department at the IMF, gave the position at a media briefing on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington.
He was responding to a question on whether the closure negates the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Selassie said although free trade was critical to economic growth of the continent, it must be legal and in line with agreements.
`On the border closure in Nigeria which has been impacting Benin and Niger, our understanding is that the action reflects concerns about smuggling that has been taking place.
“It is about illegal trade, which is not what you want to facilitate,’’ Selassie said.
He said the IMF was hoping for a speedy resolution of the issues as the action was already taking a toll on the economies of the country’s neighbours.
“We are very hopeful that discussions will resolve the challenges that this illegal trade is posing.
“If the border closure is to be sustained for a long time, it will definitely have an impact on Benin and Niger which, of course, rely quite extensively on the big brother next door,’’ he said.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the borders were closed to curb illegal trading activities by Nigeria’s neighbours.
Ahmed said the closure would remain in force until the country secured the commitment of its neighbours to trade agreements and treaties signed with them.
Meanwhile, the IMF director said the AfCFTA was one of the most exciting policy developments in the region in recent months.
Selassie said analyses by the Fund showed that the initiative had a “tremendous potential to facilitate higher economic growth’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IMF projected a region wide economic growth of 3.2 per cent in 2019.
Selassie said the “hard task’’ before African nations was making sure the AfCFTA was fully implemented “to facilitate the trade that we need to see between countries in the region’’.
The IMF director also commented on the continent’s high debt burden, especially from China, resulting largely from borrowing to balance budget deficits.
He explained that the Fund was not particularly wary of China, which he said “has been a very important development partner for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa’’.
“There are some counties that have borrowed extensively, and this is not just from China but from all other sources of financing either through Euro bond, domestic markets or other sources of capital.
“Yes, there are countries that have borrowed beyond what they can quickly pay, but it is important that we get this story straight.
“China has been a very important partner for many countries and remains so.
“Our concern really is more about overall debt level, not just about debt but some other things.
“One is, once you have borrowed money to invest in infrastructure, health and education, it is important you are able to capture the rate of return on that investment so that the debt can be serviced.
“What you put the debt to and how effective the investment projects that you are undertaking is really the important part of the equation,’’ Selassie said.
He added that it was also important for countries to address their “tremendous development needs avoiding debts becoming unsustainable’’.
Forex intervention: CBN injects $325.5m into retail market
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected 325.5million dollars in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and CNY14million in the spot and short tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.
The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.
Okorafor explained that the dollars intervention was for agricultural machineries and industrial raw materials.
He said the Chinese Yuan, on the other hand, was for Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit.
Okorafor further expressed optimism that the stability in the forex market would be sustained.
He assured the genuine foreign exchange users of the commitment of the apex bank towards ensuring adequate liquidity in the market.
The director disclosed that the bank on Tuesday offered authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market the sum of 100million dollars.
According to him, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the invisibles segments received the sum of 55 million dollars each.
Meanwhile, N358 was exchanged for a dollar at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market, while CNY1 exchanged at N48.00.
Firm files bankruptcy action against AITEO
Charlietam International Services Limited a Port Harcourt-based company has filed an action before the Federal High Court in Lagos to commence winding-up proceedings against the oil giant for its prolonged inability to pay a debt of N259,068,753.00 owed the company for various services rendered to AITEO between December 2017 and March 2019.
The petition was filed by the company through its Solicitors, Anthony Enyindah, Victor Okezie and Dr Dickson Omukoro of Ntephe Smith & Wills.
According to the petition made available to New Telegraph at the weekend in Yenagoa, the petition prayed the court to wind-up the company on grounds of insolvency pursuant to sections 408 and 409(a) of the Company and Allied Matters Act.
In a six paragraph affidavit verifying the petition, Mr Unye Sunday Micah, Managing Director of Charlietam International Services Limited, the petition affirmed that between December 2017 to March 2019, his company rendered services valued at ₦265,068,753.00 and was only paid the sum of ₦6million without payment advice, leaving an outstanding balance of N259,068,753.00.
The petitioner maintained that several demand letters, including those from the petitioner’s solicitors were sent to the Company’s Abuja and Lagos addresses, but AITEO refused or/failed to respond to any of the letters.
The final demand letter dated August 28 2019, was sent by the petitioner pursuant to sections 408 and 409 (a) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
In the said letter, the petitioners demanded to be paid the amount owed him and informed AITEO of an impending legal action.
The petition, accordingly read in part: “More than 21 days have since elapsed from the last demand without the Company making good the moneys owed as aforesaid.”
The petition further stated that the Company is insolvent and unable to pay its debt and your Petitioner therefore humbly prays as follows:
“That the Court, under the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, winds-up AITEO EASTERN E & P COMPANY LIMITED; and for such further or other orders as this Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”
Reacting to the petition, a source at the oil company said: “I have done my investigations and he is one of our contractors but what I’m doing is to make sure that I invite him here so that everything will be sorted out.”
ILO: Self-employment, SMEs providing more jobs than ever
A report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has revealed that seven in 10 workers are self-employed or in small businesses.
According to the estimates, self-employment, micro and small enterprises play a far more important role in providing jobs than previously believed.
The data, gathered in 99 countries, found that the so-called ‘small economic units’ together account for 70 per cent of total employment, making them by far the most important drivers of employment.
The findings have “highly relevant” implications for policies and programmes on job creation, job quality, start-ups, enterprise productivity and job formalisation, which, the report says, need to focus more on these small economic units.
The study also found that an average of 62 per cent of employment in these 99 countries is in the informal sector, where working conditions in general tend to be inferior, (i.e. a lack of social security, lower wages, poor occupational safety and health and weaker industrial relations).
The informality level varies widely, ranging from more than 90 per cent in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar to less than five per cent in Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam and Switzerland.
The information is published in a new ILO report, Small matters: Global evidence on the contribution to employment by the self-employed, micro-enterprises and SMEs.
The report finds that in high-income countries, 58 per cent of total employment is in small economic units, while in low and middle-income countries, the proportion is considerably higher.
In countries with the lowest income levels, the proportion of employment in small economic units is almost 100 per cent, the report says.
ILO estimates draw on national household and labour force surveys, gathered in all regions except North America, rather than using the more traditional source of enterprise surveys that tend to have more limited scope.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the employment contribution of so-called small economic units has been estimated, in comparative terms, for such a large group of countries, particularly low and middle income countries,” said Dragan Radic, Head of the ILO’s Small and Medium Enterprises Unit.
The report advises that supporting small economic units should be a central part of economic and social development strategies.
It highlights the importance of creating an enabling environment for such businesses, ensuring that they have effective representation and that social dialogue models also work for them.
Other recommendations include understanding how enterprise productivity is shaped by a wider “ecosystem“, facilitating access to finance and markets, advancing women’s entrepreneurship, and encouraging the transition towards the formal economy and environmental sustainability.
Stakeholders mount fresh pressure over housing sector bills
Again, stakeholders comprising real estate developers, builders, engineers, estate surveyors and town planners are mounting pressure on the National Assembly to expedite action on the outstanding housing bills before it.
The housing bills, New Telegraph gathered, are yet to be passed by the National Assembly since 20O4.
They include the passage of Foreclosure Bill into law to legally resolve default issues in the housing sector; Review of Land Use Act of 1978; Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2018; Review of Federal Government Housing Loans Board Bill (FGHLB); Review of the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme Act 1992; Review of Mortgage Banks Act 1989 ( subsumed in BOFIA); Review of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Act 1993; and Review of the Trustee Investment Act 1962.
Others are Review of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Act 1993; Review of the Insurance Act 2002; Review of the Investment and Security Act 1999; Review of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Act 1990; Climate Change Adaptation Policy; Policy Creating the National Council on Housing for Sector Regulation; and Securitization Bill and other affordable housing policies.
Commenting on the bills, a former General Manager of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Mr. Fonahanmi Idris, said that the various Acts should analyzed into areas of interest in the sector, adding that he was optimistic that if seen, they could be reviewed in line with current dictates.
New Telegraph also gathered that the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) was also putting the bills into priority.
Another affordable housing advocate, David Gamvwa, said it was sad that eight of the bills were initiated, prepared and sent to the National Assembly since 2004 by Professor Akin Mabogunje-led Presidential Technical Committee on Housing and Urban Development.
In his agenda setting for government, Adebayo reminded the Minister of Work and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, that urgent passage of the outstanding bills would facilitate rapid investment in the real estate sector and drive the economy.
Besides, he called on the minister to urgently partner with the Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others to see that these critical bills are passed by the National Assembly.
Adebayo noted that funding has remained one of the most critical challenges for Nigeria’s housing sector, urging the minister to consider approaches that would ease access to funding low-income housing in the country.
Whether in terms of partnerships, policy developments or securing alternative finance models, Adebayo said that if access to funding could be guaranteed, a lot could be achieved in record time in the sector.
He lamented that mortgages and project constructions were stalled by limited access to funding.
He said: “Another critical mandate for the minister is to partner with relevant stakeholders in the sector to create standard data system in Nigeria that can be universally accepted to collate data, identify data gaps, integrate, optimise and expand knowledge set to meet current demands.”
This, he said should also included the adoption of high impact training that supports research and data generation by major stakeholders within the industry.
“Any plan or investment in the sector ought to be based on dependable data,” he said, quoting the stakeholders.
Adebayo urged government to facilitate process to tackle the backlog of issuance of consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands.
“There is the need to do more in terms of creating enabling policies around land title documentations, with government playing a larger role in assisting investors and supporting local building industries and materials,” he said.
Border closure: Used vehicles flood Apapa port
No few than 5,200 used vehicles have been imported within the last two months through the Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) Tincan Island Port following the closure of Nigeria’s land borders.
The imports have boosted Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)’s revenue at PTML.
It was gathered that within the last two months, the Service had generated N25.8 billion at the terminal from vehicle imports.
In August, it collected N12.6billion and in September, N13.2 billion.
According to NCS, a total of N116 billion was generated from vehicle importation between January and September 2019.
The revenue was N28.91 billion higher than the N87.60 billion collected in 2018.
Last month, eight roll-on roll-off vessels berthed at the port terminal with 2,950 used vehicles.
The vehicles were shipped into the country by Grande Togo with 350 units; Hoegh Xiamen, 400 units; Grande Tema, 400units; Grande Cameroon, 350 units; Grande Lagos, 400 units; Rep Del Brasile, 300 units; MSC Christiana, 400 units and Grande Congo, 350 units.
Also in August, 2,250 units of used vehicles were off loaded from six ships with Heogh Xiamen leading with 400 units; Grande Tema, 400 units; Grande Lagos, 400 units; Grande Morocco, 350 units; Grande Ghana, 350 units and Grande Togo, 350 units.
According to the command’s spokesman, Yakubu Mohammed, its monthly revenue target was N10.3 billion.
A breakdown of the revenue revealed that the command generated N 14.8 billion in January; February, N10 billion; March, N11.8 billion; April, N13.2 billion; May, N12.3 billion; June, N13.3 billion; July, N14.8 billion; August, N12.6 billion and September N13.2 billion.
Meanwhile, PTML has reduced tariffs for all categories of vehicles, which had been rooting away at the port for over a year at the terminal.
Investigation revealed that the tariffs were offered in order to create space for the new imports.
The cut rate per unit tariff for cars is N75,000; vans, N100,000; trucks/trailers/bus, N150,000 and plants, N300,000.
According to the PTML’s General Manager, Tunde Keshinro, the terminal handled 159,000 units of vehicles in year 2018.
However, it was gathered that most of the vehicles were of low grade.
It was revealed that PTML took delivery of 269,000 units or 65.53 per cent of the 410,443 units that entered the country between 2017 and 2018.
In 2018 alone, no fewer than 229,690 units were imported through the seaports, while some 180,753 units of vehicles were imported in 2017.
Findings by New Telegraph revealed that PTML alone received 159,000 units in 2018 and 110,000 units of vehicles in 2017.
Also, data obtained from United Nations Comtrade portal revealed that two countries- United States and China, exported N357.7 billion ($980 million) to Nigeria in the period.
United States exported $581 million, while China brought $399 million vehicles into the country between 2017 and 2018.
CPS: Families of 1,223 deceased workers get N4.69bn
In fulfilment of plans under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) arrangement, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has approved the payment of N4.69 billion as benefits to families of 1,223 workers, who lost their lives.
The payment, which moved the total payments of death benefits to N178.56 billion, according to the final second quarter report by the Commission, brought the total number of deceased employees from both public and private sectors to 57,043.
According to the commission, approval was also granted for payment of N5.28 billion to 10,673 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement.
The cumulative total number of RSA holders, who were paid benefits for temporary loss of job was 324,141 and were paid a total of N113,21 billion, being 25 per cent of the balances of their RSAs as prescribed by the Pension Reform Act 2014.
A further analysis showed that the private sector accounted for 95.33 per cent of those who benefitted from these payments, while the public sector accounted for 4.67 per cent.
An earlier report by this newspaper had revealed that during the period under review, demand notices were issued to 37 defaulting employers whose pension liabilities had been established by Recovery Agents.
The effort, the Commission said, “resulted in the remittance of outstanding pension contributions of N260.62 million, representing principal contributions of N151.59 million and penalty of N109.64 million.
“Accordingly, total recoveries made from inception to date amounted to N16.01 billion, comprising principal contributions of N8.22 billion and penalty N7.79 billion.
“These amounts have since been credited to the respective RSAs of the employees.”
The Commission maintains the services of Recovery Agents for the recovery of outstanding pension contributions and penalty from defaulting employers. The RAs are mandated to review the pension records of employers assigned by the Commission with a view to recovering outstanding pension contributions with penalty.
Another major activity carried out by the Commission during the quarter was the refund of pension contributions to military and security agencies personnel following their exemption from the CPS.
According to PenCom, it processed 2,080 applications for refund during the period under review.
“In that regard, the sum of ₦142.13 million was refunded to the contributors, while ₦83.67 million, representing the contributions by the Federal Government, was returned to the Contributory Pension Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“The extended timeline given to the Tripartite Committee for the Winding Down of the refund exercise ended 30 June, 2019 and the report is being finalised,” the Commission noted.
On contributions, the Commission revealed that the total monthly pension contributions received from contributors from both the public and private sectors was N5.45 trillion as at the end of the second quarter, 2019.
This shows an increase of N169.90 billion, representing 3.22 per cent growth over the total contributions as at the end of the previous quarter.
According to the commission, “during the second quarter of 2019, the total contributions received from the public sector amounted to N72.42 billion (42.63 per cent), while the private sector contributed N97.48 billion (57.37 per cent).
“A review of the aggregate total contribution received shows that N2.73 trillion or 50.09 per cent of the contributions came from the public sector, while the private sector contributed the remaining 49.91 per cent (N2.72 trillion).
“The aggregate total pension contributions of the private sector increased from N2.62 trillion as at first quarter of 2019 to N2.72 trillion as at the end of the reporting period, representing a growth of 3.72 per cent. Whereas, the aggregate total pension contribution of the public sector increased by 2.72 per cent from N2.66 trillion to N2.73 trillion over the same period.”
Besides, the report also noted that the Commission approved a total of 2,941 applications for retirement under life annuity during the quarter, bringing the total number of retirees receiving their retirement benefits through the annuity plan to 68,857 from inception.
The 2,941 retirees received N4.68 billion as lump sum payment and paid premium of N17.53 billion to insurance companies and monthly annuity of N184.50 million. This resulted in total lumps sum payment of N91.28 billion, premium of N371.21 billion and monthly annuity payments of N3.70 billion as at the end of the period under review.
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