Stakeholders in the finance and education sectors in Abuja have began discussions on ways of effectively managing pensions in the country.
The meeting is discussing “Manpower Development for Nigerian Universities and the Nigerian Pension Industry”.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, said yesterday that legislation alone could not drive the current process of Nigeria’s pensions management.
He said that adequate and proper manpower was required to work with the law to fill in current gaps in the administration of pension funds.
Okojie said the necessary machinery to enforce any policy ought to be put in place before such policies were brought to the fore.
He said the NUC identified gaps that could be properly addressed by the Nigerian University System.
“The Pension Reform Act of 2004 was a major shift to an era of coordinated pension management aimed at ensuring that each Nigerian worker, in both public and private sector, has a well defined plan for their retirement benefits through the mandatory Contributory Pension Scheme.
“Despite the noble idea behind the scheme, available evidence attests to the fact that its implementation has been fraught with weak institutional support and poor manpower administration.
“Presently, the value of assets under the scheme for both the public and private sectors is over N4.0 trillion, thus the urgency and expediency for stakeholders to evolve a mechanism which would promote the efficient management of the assets for the benefit of government and contributors,” he said.
According to him, NUC is conscious of its statutory responsibility and is determined to fast-track production of required manpower for the pension industry by developing actuarial scientists/ actuaries and linkages with highly ranked global institutions in the course training.
Okojie said the workshop would discuss modalities for raising the required fund from institutions, such as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), PenCOM, National Insurance Company and Central Bank of Nigeria for the training of postgraduate students to doctorate level in actuarial science.
He said other issues to be looked at were the review of the curriculum of study in line with current international trends, adoption of modalities for sustainable production of manpower for the pensions industry and identify trainees and partner institutions for staff training and exchange programmes.
In a keynote address, an actuary, Ambassador Godson Echegile, while commending PenCOM, noted that a lot needed to be done to ensure a wider coverage and sustained growth of the pension industry.
Echegile said there should be a plan to accommodate more workers in the scheme, especially those in the states civil service, address the issue of transition of contributors to the new scheme as well as non-remittance of deductions to PenCOM.
He listed the key manpower areas of the Pension Industry as accounting, law, insurance and actuarial science and urged participants to evolve ways of developing effective manpower from the fields.
CNG Committee Partners UN Agency On Greener Energy
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) has partnered with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All for the provision of greener and more sustainable energy in Nigeria.
The Programme Director/Chief Executive, PCNGI, Michael Oluwagbemi, who duclosed this at a workshop in Lagos, Friday, reiterated Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to sustainable strategies which he said would propel the nation toward a greener, more sustainable future.
In a Statement, Oluwagbemi said the workshop marked a significant milestone in the commitment of the nation to join the rest of the world in the enhancement of sustainable energy access.
While noting that the workshop was held as a follow-up to an initial meeting between SEforAll CEO, Ogunbiyi and PCNGi Chairman, Adedeji, held in Abuja, Oluwagbemi said it also showcased the progress and key initiatives contributing to Nigeria’s sustainable development agenda.
“These initiatives, presented with impact and relevance, are pivotal in steering Nigeria towards a more sustainable future, aligning with global goals and impacting the nation’s development landscape”, he said.
“The workshop aimed to identify opportunities for collaboration and outline concrete steps for forging impactful partnerships between SEforALL and FIRS/PCNGi.
“PCNGi’s active participation in the workshop underscores its dedication to fostering collaboration among key stakeholders”, Oluwagbemi said.
According to him, the committee envisions a future where sustainable practices are ingrained in Nigeria’s energy landscape, contributing to economic growth, environmental conservation, and enhanced energy access.
He reaffirmed the commitment to ongoing collaboration for all parties to drive sustainable solutions contributing to Nigeria’s broader development goals.
“As Nigeria’s sustainable development progresses, PCNGI remains a driving force, ensuring that the nation’s green growth goals are met and exceeded”, he stated.
The PCNGI boss revealed that the workshop featured presentations on critical topics including Nigeria Energy Transition Plan, Nigeria E-bus Strategy, Solar Empowerment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.
Tinubu Approves Fresh Marginal Field Bid
In a bid to revive Nigeria’s dormant oil and gas fields, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given the green light for a new marginal field bid round, aiming to auction dormant oil and gas fields abandoned by international oil companies (IOCs) for over a decade.
Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, disclosed this during a visit to Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited’s modular refinery in Imo State.
Lokpobiri said the decision came on the heels of a strategic meeting between the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), oil firms and miners at the NEITI-Companies Forum.
According to him, the impending bid round follows a previous initiative in 2020, where approximately 57 marginal oilfields were put up for sale, concluding last year.
He, however, noted that challenges such as funding constraints and regulatory complexities hindered many recipients from promptly developing these assets.
Senator Lokpobiri stressed that the forthcoming bidding round, backed by presidential approval, would prioritize marginal fields located near modular refineries adding that this strategic alignment aims to expedite the production process.
Emphasizing the significance of modular refineries in addressing the country’s energy challenges, Senator Lokpobiri highlighted their role while the larger refineries undergo comprehensive rehabilitation.
The move by the Federal Government is anticipated to breathe new life into stagnant oil and gas fields, fostering economic administration’s vitalization in the sector.
We’ve Robust PMS Supply To Last Beyond Yuletide-Kyari
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) says it has made a robust plan for the supply of petroleum products sufficient to last beyond the ember months and the new year festivities.
The NNPCL said the supply of petroleum products, especially the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known as petrol, would last beyond the Yuletide and new year festivities.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari, said this when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, last Wednesday in Abuja.
Kyari, in a statement by Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communication Officer, NNPCL said by the creation of the National Assembly, NNPCL was saddled with the responsibility of guaranteeing Nigeria’s energy security which was critical to national security.
“We have made a robust plan for the forthcoming end of the year festivities and beyond. We do not see any shortages in the petroleum products supply for the period,” the GCEO added.
While lauding the National Assembly for the critical role it played in the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, Kyari said this legislative endeavour gave birth to a new commercially oriented National Oil Company, governed by the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) principles.
Kyari stated that with the passage of the PIA 2021, NNPCL’s profitability margins had significantly risen, growing from a loss position of N803 billion in 2018 to a profit position of N674 billion in 2021.
According to him, NNPCL is targeting a profit increase of N2 trillion when the 2022 Audited Financial Statements (AFS) are released, and since July, 2023 the Company has started paying dividends to its shareholders.
He also said the NNPCL was involved in the entire value-chain of the oil and gas business and controlled about 30 per cent of the nation’s petroleum downstream retail market.
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