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Pencom debunks allegation on payment of N3m to least paid employee per month

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By Matthew Denis Abuja

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has debunked the allegation making rounds that the least paid employee earns a salary of N3 million per month.

This is contained in a statement made available to Nigerian NewsDirect by the management of the Commission on Sunday.

The statement read, “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 fueled all sorts of false allegations and unfair insinuations.

“The public is invited to note that the claim is absolutely false as 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.”

According to the statement it’s 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 favorably 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-caliber professionals.”

It stated further that 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 statement urged the public to ignore the false and mischievous information on the staff compensation package as the Commission has nothing to hide and will continue to run a transparent and accountable system.

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NDIC sustains fight against corruption with inauguration of ‘Anti-corruption & transparency unit’

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has inaugurated its Anti-corruption & Transparency Unit.

“NDIC has a culture of zero tolerance for corruption, which is further strengthened by its core values of Teamwork, Respect and Fairness, Integrity, Professionalism, and Passion,” said MD/CE, NDIC Mr. Bello Hassan.

He was represented by NDIC Executive Director, Operations Mr. Mustapha M. Ibrahim during the inauguration of the Corporation’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) by officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commi ssion (ICPC) at the NDIC headquarters in Abuja.

He said, the NDIC ACTU has strengthened the Corporation’s operational system through the implementation of various compliance measures to ensure ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability in the workplace.

He explained that the specific measures include robust Internal Controls, regular Risk Assessments, strict adherence to regulatory guidelines, and comprehensive training programs for employees.

Mr. Hassan described the inauguration as a significant step in the Corporation’s ongoing commitment in the fight against corruption and enhance transparency. He emphasised that NDIC Management remains committed to supporting ACTU activities, recognising the unit’s critical role in ensuring the Corporation’s operations are conducted with integrity, free from corruption, and fostering public trust.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu who was represented by ICPC Acting Director System Study and Review, Mr. Olusegun Adigun, praised NDIC Management for their dedication and active support in establishing and advancing the activities of the ACTU to address corruption issues and foster ethical practices.

He applauded the efficiency and diligence of the NDIC ACTU in fulfilling its mandate, resulting in the Corporation retaining the first position for two consecutive years on the annual ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard.

He urged the new ACTU members to see their nomination as an opportunity to build on the good legacies of the previous members and to complement Management’s efforts in promoting the core valu es of the Corporation through their assigned duties.

He stressed the need for the NDIC Management to sustain its commitment and support to ACTU so that the Unit can perform optimally and remain a veritable tool in embedding laid down ethical standards amongst staff and sustaining a positive image for the Corporation.

Ten (10) members of staff were sworn in as members of the NDIC ACTU during the inauguration. Their key functions include annual sensitisation of staff against corruption; Conduct of System Study & Review and Corruption Risk Assessment to strengthen internal systems; monitoring budget implementation of the Corporation, co ordinating whistleblowing platforms, identifying and rewarding outstanding members of staff amongst other responsibilities.

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IPMAN hinges erratic petrol availability on allocation issues from NNPC 

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The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says petrol availability has been erratic because of the small allocation currently allotted to its members by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

IPMAN National Vice-President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday.

Fasola said the allocation issue has led to haphazard operations by its members, who now buy from third parties (private depot owners) at prices they can no longer afford.

According to him, NNPC has been the one bringing the product to the country and sharing it with major marketers until the involvement of the private depot owners.

He added that there had been a shortfall in the supply of the product because NNPC would naturally supply its retail outlets first.

“That is why you see a kind of on-and-off situation from the independent marketers’ filling stations.

“We still get some trucks directly, but very inadequate to the number of marketers we have.

“We are waiting for when the product will be available, especially through NNPC depots, the Port Harcourt refinery, and by the time Dangote comes up with its petrol, that is PMS.

“We believe that all these problems will be solved,” he said.

However, he said the association would continue to engage NNPC because it had been a long-term partner.

 ”We are very positive that when things come to normal, they will be giving us our due allocation,” he said.

On the issue of subsidy, Fasola said he believed there was no more fuel subsidy because the government had said so.

Many filling stations are not selling due to the unavailability of the commodity.

Others, who open for business intermittently, sell between N620 per litre to N700 with NNPC retail outlets selling at the official rate but with long queues.

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Finance Ministry launches digital incentives, evaluation platform 

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By Matthew Denis

In a significant advancement to streamline fiscal management, the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun has announced the integration of the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP) into the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) programme, thereby allowing for enhanced monitoring and evaluation.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mohammed Manga Director, Information & Public Relations of Federal Ministry of Finance and made available to NewsDirect on Tuesday.

“The IDEC programme strategically reduces import duty burdens for priority sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare, stimulating economic growth and national development.”

The statement stressed that integrated into the IDEC framework, the newly launched IMEP ensures that only eligible entities benefit, rigorously enforcing compliance and optimising tax expenditures to reduce waste, block leakages and enhance economic equity.

“Key features of the IMEP include an automated claw-back mechanism for recouping waivers from defaulters, real-time e-report generation and a centralised database that enhances the efficiency of our verification processes.

“IMEP aims to ensure that tax incentives are rationalised to deliver maximum economic impact, aligning with the government’s commitment to reducing waste, blocking leakages, and fostering a robust and equitable economic environment. IMEP’s precise monitoring capabilities will significantly enhance the strategic allocation of exemptions and support the government’s objective to  ultimately reduce tax expenditures.”

To acquaint all stakeholders with the upgraded IDEC framework, the Ministry of Finance will host a webinar on April 25th, 2024, by 12 noon (WAT). Key industry participants, including manufacturers, importers, and representatives from MDAs and NGOs, have been invited to engage in this session to understand the enhanced features and benefits of the IMEP. Details for the webinar will be available on the Ministry of Finance’s official website and the IDEC YouTube channel.

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