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Reps Commence Ammendments To Pension Act….Proposes 75% Payment On Retirement

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The House of Representatives has commenced the process for the amendment of the Pension Reform Act, 2014, with the view to increase the retirement benefits due to retirees or disengaged worker, from 25% to 75% immediately upon retirement and criminalize undue delay in the payment of the accrued benefits.

The private member bill which has been gazetted for Second Reading as sponsored by Hon. Olaifa Jimoh Aremu seeks to amend sections 1(C), 7(2), 8(1), 18, 24 and 99 of the Pension Reform Act Cap. P50 Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2014.

Section 1(c) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 is to be amended by deleting ‘receives his retirement benefits as and when due’ and replaces it with “receives at least 75% of his retirement benefits immediately upon retirement, disengages or is disengaged.”

When amended, the section 1(C) is to read as follows: “Ensure that every person who worked in either the Public Service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory, States and Local Government or the Private Sector receives at least 75% of his retirement benefits upon retirement, disengages or disengaged.

The proponent of the Act also seeks amendment of section 1(c) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 by adding a new paragraph (e) immediately after (d) and rearranged as follows: “make provision for payment of the remaining benefits or every benefit without delay.”

In the same vein, Hon. Aremu also proposed the amendment of Section 7 (2) by deleting the figure ’25’ inline-four and replace it with ’75’ and delete “provided that such retirement or cessation of employment and the employee does not secure another employment” and rearranged as follows:

“Where an employee voluntarily retires, disengages or is disengaged from employment as provided for under section 16 (2) and (5) of this act, the employee may with the approval of the Commission, withdraw an amount of money not exceeding 75% of the total amount credited to his retirement savings account.”

Hon. Aremu further proposed amendment to Section 8(l), by adding “all” immediately after ‘dies’ in line one and rearranged as follows: “Where an employee dies, all his entitlements under the life insurance policy maintained under section 4(5) of this act shall be paid by an underwriter to the named beneficiary in line with section 57 of the Insurance Act.

Similarly, Hon. Aremu seeks the amendment of Section 13 of the pension Reform Act 2014 is amended by adding a new paragraph (d) immediately after (0) and rearranged as follows: “Ensure prompt payment of retirement benefit without undue delay.”

In the same vein, the lawmaker seeks the amendment of section 24 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, by adding new paragraph immediately after (O) and re-arranged as follows: (P) Ensure prompt payment of retirement benefits without undue delay.

Likewise, he proposed amendment of section 99 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, by adding new subsection (5) immediately after subsection (4) and re-arranged as follow: “Any person, body, Pension Fund Administrator, or Pension Fund Custodian that withholds or unduly delays payment of retirement benefit which have been released by the Federal Government or its Agency, Commission or Body commits an offence and shall be liable to 3 years imprisonment or a fine of N2 million or both.”

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University Student Delivers Quintuplets

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A 400-level student of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Umudike, Abia State, Oluomachi Nwojo, has been delivered of a set of quintuplets.

The 24-year-old student of Environmental Management, a native of Abriba in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, was delivered of the babies on Monday at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia through caesarean section.

Oluomachi had two baby boys and three girls.

Speaking, the final-year student expressed happiness at the delivery of her babies, describing it as a wonderful experience.

She said: “This is my first delivery and I am grateful to God for making me a partaker of this wonderful blessing.

“I believe God knows the best for my children; I am feeling fine and gradually recuperating from the birth of my babies.

“I am calling on the government and good-spirited individuals to help me in training the babies because I cannot carry the burden alone.

“At this stage, I need assistance to buy milk and other necessities for the babies.”

The Director of Protocol at the hospital, Darlington Madubuko, said the delivery of the quintuplets was the first of multiple deliveries at the facility.

“The hospital records more than 50 multiple births annually and our staff are well trained to successfully handle such cases.

“We have had quadruplets before now, but this is the first time the hospital is recording the birth of quintuplets in the recent past.

“The two male babies are in the neonatal unit of the hospital receiving treatment and the three female babies are with their mother in the postnatal ward,” Madubuko said.
(PRNigeria)

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Relief, as Remaining Abuja-Kaduna Train Kidnap Victims are Released!

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The families and friends of the 23 remaining passengers who were held hostage by bandits following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train, can now heave a sigh of relief following their release by the Nigerian Military Wednesday afternoon.

This development was confirmed in a statement issued Wednesday by the Secretary of the Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf.

The terrorists had attacked the Kaduna-bound train on 28 March, 2022 and captured scores of passengers.

While many had been released on paying huge ransom to the terrorists, 23 abducted passengers remained with the bandits.

Secretary, Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf, said on Wednesday that the remaining captives had been released this afternoon.

He said they were set free around 4.00pm on Wednesday.

“I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 1600Hrs. (4:00pm) today, Wednesday 5-10-2022, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28-3-2022,” he said.

Yusuf stated that the country owed a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish.

He added that all sister Security Agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this Operation.

“The unwavering support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is what made it all possible.

“Members of this Committee are grateful for the rare honour and privilege to be part of this Humanitarian Operation. May God Almighty Heal Our Wounds and Bring Peace to Our Land,” he said.

The statement however, did not say if the release was secured through negotiation with the bandits, or the use of force.

It was also silent on the fate of a female member of the victims who was said to have been taken as wife by the bandits’ leader.

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Court Awards N540M to Prophet Omale in Case Against FCMB

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja has awarded the sum of N540 million in damages to Prophet Emmanuel Omale against a commercial bank over alleged negligence and defamation.

Justice Yusuf Halilu on Tuesday held that the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) breached its fiduciary duty of care to Prophet Omale, which caused him to be summoned by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, including defamation of his name.

Omale, who is the General Overseer of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, an inter-denominational deliverance and prophetic ministry, had filed the suit through his counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN) demanding the sum of N5 billion in damages against the bank.

According to the Prophet, the judicial panel of inquiry summoned him in July 2020 after the bank sometime in 2016, negligently and falsely in its computer system generated weekly automated report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) of a “suspicious” credit inflow of N573, 228, 040. 41 (Five Hundred and Seventy Three Million Naira, Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Forty Naira and 41 kobo) into the church’s corporate account No: 1486743019 in line with the Money Laundering Prevention Act; the Economic and Financial Crimes Act and the Terrorism Prevention Act, which mandates it to report any suspicious financial transaction of its customers.

He said the false alert and the summons caused his name to be dragged in the mud in the media which caused him untold hardship, trauma and great financial losses, which the bank owned up in its letter published in three national newspapers.

The judge awarded an aggravated damage of N200 million, special damage of N140,500 million, and N200 million in general damages.

“The conduct of the Defendant in this case, clearly from the evidence that have been made out, is certainly careless and negligent; it is certainly not careless and negligent but unprofessional”, the judge said

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