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‘No PenCom employee earns N3m monthly’ — commission reacts to viral claim

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The highest paid employee of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) does not earn up to N1 million monthly, the commission has said.

In a press statement shared with newsmen on Saturday, the management of the commission said it is “completely illogical and improbable that the least paid will earn a monthly salary of N3 million” when the highest paid does not earn a third of that.

It said the “mischief” might have originated from someone who calculated all staff costs — covering remuneration, training, staff exit benefit scheme, and employer’s pension contribution — and divided the sum by the number of employees to arrive at a monthly salary of N3 million.

“We understand that there is an element of mischief and possible blackmail on the Commission’s compensation package,” it said, adding that there is “a clear difference” between staff costs and staff salaries.

The commission also explained how the staff compensation is fixed, maintaining that although the salaries are to be reviewed yearly, no adjustment has been made since 2017 when the current package was approved.

It said this has affected the commission’s ability to attract competitive skills from the financial sector.

THE FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS RELEASE

Following the false and misleading information on the compensation package of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) being circulated in the traditional and social media, it has become necessary to set the record straight in the interest of the Nigerian public. It is being alleged that the least paid PenCom employee earns a salary of N3 million per month. This has fuelled all sorts of false allegations and unfair insinuations. The public is invited to note that the claim is absolutely false. The highest paid official of the Commission earns less than N1 million a month. It is therefore completely illogical and improbable that the least paid will earn a monthly salary of N3 million.

We understand that there is an element of mischief and possible blackmail on the Commission’s compensation package. From our understanding, it appears someone calculated all staff costs, including training, staff exit benefit scheme, and employer’s pension contribution, and divided the total by the number of the Commission’s employees and concluded that the least paid employee is on a monthly salary of N3 million. There is a clear difference between staff cost and staff salaries.

It is imperative to point out that right from the inception of the Commission in 2004, the Federal Government mandated the Board to adopt an employee compensation policy that favourably compares to comparator government bodies in the financial services sector, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Section 25(2)(b) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 also empowers the Board of the Commission to fix the remuneration, allowances and benefits of the employees.

More so, the Presidential Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments in the Public Sector headed by the late Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of the Interim National Government, made a number of recommendations which guide the PenCom Board in its compensation review exercises. One of the recommendations is that the pay structure of self-funded agencies should be benchmarked with their private sector comparators so as to ensure relativity in such agencies and attract and retain high-calibre professionals.

The Shonekan Committee, which was set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, also recommended that the pay structure of regulatory agencies should be benchmarked against sectors they monitor to avoid regulatory capture, and that an annual increase in pay should be undertaken to account for inflation/cost of living adjustment and establishments may strive to attain 50th percentile and above their comparators in the private sector.

We made all these facts known in a recently submission to the House of Representatives Committee on Finance over the compensation package of the Commission. We also stated that the last compensation package review was done in 2017 with the approval of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). No review has been done in the last five years and this has affected the ability of the Commission to attract, hire and retain staff with competitive skills.

The public is, therefore, implored to ignore the false and mischievous information on the staff compensation package. The Commission has nothing to hide and will continue to run a transparent and accountable system.

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Exchange Rate Between Naira And Dollar Falls At The Black Market

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The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar fell further to a record low of N735/$1, recording a dip of 0.68% on Friday morning, 30th September 2022 on the black market, compared to N730/$1 recorded on Thursday.

This is according to information obtained from black market traders who spoke to Nairametrics.

Meanwhile, the exchange rate at the Investors and Exporters window fell by 0.15% to close at N437.03/$1 on Thursday, 29th September 2022, when compared to N436.37/$1 recorded in the previous session. This is despite a surge in the amount of traded FX in the window.

Total forex turnover stood at $223.3 million, representing an 86.9% increase from $119.49 million that exchanged hands in the previous trading session.

The local currency, on the other hand, at the cryptocurrency peer-to-peer FX market, traded at a minimum of N736.8/$1 on Friday morning, recording a slight depreciation of 0.25% as against N735/$1 traded at the same time on Thursday, 29th September 2022.

Nigeria’s external reserve stood at $38.32 billion as of 28th September 2022, a decline of 0.1% from $38.36 billion recorded the previous day.

The nation’s foreign reserve has been on a downward trend due to the continuous intervention by the CBN in the official market to maintain the stability of the local currency.

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Drama as man causes commotion in bank after his N180k disappeared from his account (Video)

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A man has been captured on camera causing a scene at a popular bank after a huge sum of money was deducted from his account.

It was gathered that N180,000 mysteriously disappeared from his account so he stormed the bank to lay a complaint.

He lashed out at the bank security and customer service officer as they tried to calm him down while he was shouting in the banking hall.

The security man has asked him to make way for another customer to be attended to by the bank staff but he continued ranting.

He went as far as challenging them to get him arrested because he was not going to leave the bank until the N180k was fully refunded.

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CBN begins deductions from states, farmers’ accounts to recover outstanding loans

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has commenced deductions from accounts of defaulters under its development finance interventions to recover outstanding loans.

Yusuf Yila, director, development finance of the CBN, said this during a post-Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Yila said the apex bank is determined to recover loans from states and farmers who were beneficiaries of any of its interventions.

Although he did not mention the debtor states, Yila said state governments’ monthly federation account allocation committee (FAAC) accruals are already being debited directly every month.

This deduction, he said, will last six months.

According to him, the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and Commercial Agric Credit (CAC) are part of the intervention programmes.

“Every person(s) or state that took that loan (ABP) is going to pay. We have their BVN,” he said.

“These persons are smallholder farmers, who received funds for farming from state governments via the ABP, but have yet to pay them back.”

The CBN director further said the apex bank has started making plans to work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that the loans were recovered.

Yila said while the ABP loan repayments were particularly low, CAC was almost excellent.

“Under the ABP, the CBN gave out about N1 trillion but recovered only N400 billion. But under the CAC, the bank lent out about N800 billion and recovered N700 billion,” he added.

“We have started recovering loans from state governments. We have been doing a loan workout programme with them, and we are debiting their monthly FAAC accruals directly for the loans.

“If a state government has taken N1 billion and is already in default, over six months, we debit them N150 million every month. So, we’ve started that programme.

“So, every single loan that has been given out through any of our intervention programmes must be paid back.

“There is absolutely no mercy. We have started; we are in recovery mode. At the development finance department, we have begun to recover the loans.

“There is the ABP which is a primary consumption element of our interventions. We lent out N1 trillion for the ABP, of which we have gotten over N400 billion back.

“Every single person or state that took that loan (ABP) is going to pay. We have their BVN. In fact, we have started implementing the Global Standing Instruction (GSI).

“We will continue to pull the account in the bank that they lent to or whichever bank that they have. Anytime we see money in that account, we will recover it.

“We are working with the EFCC. The CBN governor has approved the collaboration with the EFCC on loan recoveries.”

Yila also said that credit facilities extended to businesses and individuals have not performed poorly, adding that out of the N9 trillion intervention fund to instigate economic growth, about N5 trillion is still under moratorium.

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