Aso Villa Reads for 27/03/2019

Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

According to PUNCH “President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled a Micro Pension Plan for people operating in the informal sector of the economy, even as he promised to halt the rot in the nation’s pension system. The President, while unveiling the pension plan on Thursday in Abuja, noted that those in the informal sector needed to be captured in the plan just like those in the formal sector. The Micro Pension Plan targets the significant majority of Nigeria’s working population who, incidentally, operate in the informal sector. With an estimated 80 million people working in the informal sector of the economy, the Micro Pension Plan would take care of participants from various informal sector workers including market women, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and members of textile, garment and tailoring associations. Others are tricycle operators and Okada Riders Associations, butchers associations, workers in the movie and performing arts industry, mechanics and other workers in the automotive industry and single professionals like lawyers, accountants and many others.”

“The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission has issued licences to Nestle Water and Winners Power Gardens companies for water supply and hydropower construction respectively.” PUNCH reported that “the Executive Director, Reuben Habu, who confirmed this, said the issuance of licences to prospective applicants was another landmark, having met the conditions required by law. Habu stated that as part of the efforts to further deepen the water resources regulatory regime, the Federal Executive Council had in 2017 approved the Water Use and Licence Regulation, which had been Gazetted and became operational nationwide. He said in line with the Federal Government’s effort and drive to bring about a healthy and robust water use regulation and the need to unbundle the power sector, the Commission had issued about 21 licences for hydropower generation and water related activities with other pending applications. On his part, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said that the licensing of various water users became imperative as the government was upscaling revenue generation, job creation, and improved agriculture production, among others.”

“The Securities and Exchange Commission has extended the deadline for the discontinuance of the issuance of dividend warrants to December 31, 2019. In a circular on Thursday, SEC said the decision was to enable relevant stakeholders deliberate on and address all outstanding issues. According to SEC, the decision of the commission is in furtherance of its overriding mandate to ensure that all categories of shareholders and investors are adequately protected. It stated that the e-dividend initiative remained critical to the complete elimination of the phenomenon of unclaimed dividend, adding that the management of the commission encouraged all shareholders that were yet to do so to get mandated on the e-DMMS platform before the deadline. In the circular, SEC said, “A strategic assessment of the implementation of the e-dividend initiative across the country was recently carried out, reviewed and feedback/observations received from stakeholders and the general public were collated. “The assessment revealed that while remarkable progress has been recorded in concerted efforts through robust enlightenment campaigns to mobilise more shareholders to get mandated on the e-DMMS platform, there remain a few pertinent issues that need to be resolved as a precursor to the total discontinuance of the issuance of dividend warrants by registrars.” PUNCH reported this.

PUNCH reports that “the nation’s foreign exchange reserves have increased to a six-month high of $44.14bn, data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday showed. The external reserves have gained over $1.8bn since February 28, when it dropped to its 2019 low of $42.296bn. The reserves, which rose slightly from $43.116bn on December 31, 2018, to $43.174bn on January 31, 2019, fell to $42.296bn at the end of last month. The external reserves had risen to a high of $47.865bn on May 10, 2018, but plunged to $41.523bn on November 22 from $44.305bn on September 28.”

“Mr Joseph Ari, the Director-General of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), on Wednesday said that the Fund paid N6,587, 941, 996 to 510 companies as contributory reimbursement in 2018. Ari, who was represented by Mrs Ifeyinwa Anozie, the Calabar Area Manager of ITF said this during an interaction with journalists in Calabar. He said that this was in line with the management’s resolve to ensure that all contributing employers that remitted their contributions to the Fund were reimbursed provided they met the conditions for such reimbursement.” According to BLUEPRINT, the ITF Manager revealed that “in all, a total of 510 companies were reimbursed to the tune of N6, 587,941,996, which is the biggest payout to contributing employers as reimbursement in a calendar year since the establishment of the ITF,” he said. The director-general said that the Fund was committed to reimbursing all contributors provided they met the required conditions for payment.”

“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a loan request worth $995 million to be sourced from China’s Exim Bank for the construction of phase II of Abuja — Keffi — Akwanga — Lafia — Makurdi Road. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told State House corespondents after the council meeting that the 268.5 kilometre project consists of 16.0 kilometres-Lafia bye-pass and 251.7 kilometres stretch from Ninth mile through Otukpo to Makurdi. He said the second phase was awarded even though financing was not yet available as the award of the country was a prerequisite to access its loan from the bank. Also briefing reporters, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, revealed that FEC approved Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority project for the construction of a bridge as part of constituency project in Karu, Nasarawa State at the cost of N719million.” NIGERIAN TRIBUNE reported this.

According to DAILY TRUST “the total assets of pension fund with the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) is N8.67 trillion this year, PENCOM has said assuring that the fund is intact and very safe. Acting Director General of PENCOM, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, made the disclosure, yesterday in Akure, the Ondo State capital during the 2019 First Quarter Consultative Forum for states. Represented by the Head of States Operations Department of the commission, Dr. Dan Ndackson, Dahir-Umar maintained that since the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), it has become a veritable tool for federal and state governments for accessing bonds for developmental purposes. She said since the existence of the scheme in the past 14 years, the commission has never been found wanting or missing any kobo. She said since the inaugural forum in 2014, many states have made tremendous progress towards adopting the CPS.”

“The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Pantami on Thursday said the Federal Government saves N24.7bn monthly, through the deployment of Information technology (IT). He disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the March 2019 Lunch Time Reform Seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) with the theme: “The Need for Active Engagement of Public Institutions in the Implementation of IT Regulatory Instruments in Nigeria”. The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Pantami on Thursday said the Federal Government saves N24.7bn monthly, through the deployment of Information technology (IT).