The Senate on Thursday criticised the Federal Government for embargoing employment and yearly increase in workers’ salaries.
The Senate Committee on Establishment stated its position during a 2022 budget defence at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The lawmakers’ anger was triggered by yearly increase in the recurrent expenditure component of the budget which was submitted by the Chairman of National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission ( NSIWC), Mr Ekpo Nta before the Senate Committee on Establishment.
The failure of Nta to tell the committee the total amount of salaries and wages the federal government pays its workforce yearly, infuriated many members of the committee who wondered why recurrent expenditure in yearly budget is not decreasing on account of embargo placed on employment, and retirements at the various agencies.
Specifically, Senator Ali Ndume in taking up the NSIWC boss, said he was supposed to know the total wage bill of the Federal Government workers in arresting the dangerous trend of increases in yearly recurrent expenditure component of the budget without new recruitments and even with retirement of workers on a yearly basis.
“Honestly speaking, a time bomb is ticking out there with this policy because of the doors shut out against millions of youths seeking employment without success.
READ ALSO: CBN Plans N500m Grants For Undergraduates
“Making it worrisome is the fact that despite the policy, since 2018 till now, recurrent expenditure components of the yearly budget have been increasing.
“In 2018, it was N3.5trillion, N4trillion in 2019, N4.5trillion in 2020, N5.6trillion 2021 and N6.83trillion in the projected N16.39trillion 2022 budget.
“It is bad for recurrent expenditure to be increasing on yearly basis without an increase in the number of workforce through required recruitments.
“The embargo is turning into a time bomb that can explode at any time as witnessed in some countries in the past.
“Personally, I’m already thinking of where to run to if the avoidable crisis is not averted. I visited Ghana and Niger recently in this regard.”
Other members of the committee like Suleiman Kwari (APC Kaduna North), Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP Ondo Central) and the Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Shekarau (APC Kano North), aligned themselves with Ndume’s admonition.
Pointedly, the Chairman of the Committee directed the Salaries and Wages Commission Chairman to liaise with the Accountant General of the Federation and other management officials of IPPIS, for required harmonization in arriving at the total amount of salaries /wages the Federal Government pays per annum.
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SEC Has Final Say On Majority Shareholder OF First Bank – CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it will be guided by the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the ownership structure of FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank Plc.
The company’s majority stake recently became a subject of controversy among investors, following the announcement of a significant share acquisition by billionaire business mogul, Femi Otedola.
Commenting for the first time on the controversy, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, while fielding questions at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, said that SEC, as the capital market regulator has the final decision on the ownership structure.
He said: “We have cleaned up the Balance Sheet of the bank. The NPL has dropped. People are now competing for the shares of First Bank.
“Should I quarrel that people are now competing for the shares of First Bank which, six years ago was N2.00 and they were running away from it? The last time I looked at it, last weekend, it was N 11. 55.
“I am happy that they are competing for the shares. But of course, we should all know that First Bank is so big that no one person can say he owns First Bank.
“I have read the SEC clarifying the shareholding percentages and differences and indeed they are the people that are supposed to look at it.
“Our examiners were also opportuned to look at it. I think we should take the SEC ‘s position because the SEC is the regulator of the capital market.
“We will take their position and they will give guidance on this subject.
“And of course as it affects the operation and the running of the bank we will ensure that the right things are done.”
On developments in the domestic economy, Mr Emefiele said that the MPC noted the continued improvement in the Manufacturing Managers Index.
“This improvement indicated the gradual recovery of output growth driven largely by increase in new orders associated with rising aggregate demands and off-swing in business activities,” he said.
Emefiele noted that there were no major challenges of flooding this year and that as such he was optimistic of a bumper harvest.
A good harvest, he said, would further drive down the rate of inflation, given that the food basket has been a major driver of inflationary trends.
On forbearance, the CBN boss said that the institution expected all those who took bank loans should be able to start repayment next year, when the forbearance earlier announced would end.
He said: “At this time, we believe that global economy has opened up, lockdown has been lifted and of course, we know the casualties, the economic damage and the fatalities that were caused as a result of the lockdown, and I am so sure that not too many countries, if at all, will embark on a wholesome lockdown any longer, particularly because most countries are all administering vaccination that they think should assist in reducing the impact of the spreading of the virus.
“So, we believe in Nigeria, businesses are back or companies are back to business, revenue has been improved and if revenue improves , then you expect naturally that companies that took loans should be able to pay back their loans.
“So as a result, we do not see a likelihood of increase in NPL. Indeed, we have worked so hard to bring the NPL down from as high as about 9% to 10% about two years ago to the level it is today, which is about 5.3%.
“And we are gratified that we are aggressively working NPL down to the maximum threshold that has been set by the CBN.”
The CBN had, at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, last year, announced a one-year moratorium for loans that people, companies and businesses had taken from banks.
It was later extended by another one year, early this year. Emefiele announced the decision of the MPC to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11. 5 per cent and the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR.
READ ALSO: Otedola Not Our Majority Shareholder – FBN
He added that the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, at 27.5 per cent and the 30% Liquidity Ratio were equally maintained.
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How To Save More Than You Spend And Double The Speed Of Financial Freedom
In a world where the majority choose instant gratification over delayed gratification, it is rare to see working professionals that can live off their savings without financial stress. What is common to see are working professionals that are rich because of their regular salaries and become poor the moment this salary disappears. Yet the most effective way to gain financial freedom and break away from middle-class poverty – a condition where the same person is rich during their active career years and poor in retirement, is to save more than you spend.
Today your life is stable and comfortable not because of your savings or investments but because of your regular paycheck. All paycheck-based success will disappear at retirement and when it does the only way to maintain the same quality of life is to have saved more than you spent. Thus, the level of comfort and stability that you will experience in retirement will be based on the size and integrity of your savings and how much stable passive income it has produced before retirement. Savings is thus the foundation for retirement success and without the ability to save more than you spend you cannot achieve financial freedom.
Yet research shows that 80% of working professionals suffer a deplorable lifestyle in retirement due to poor savings and overreliance on a paycheck-based success. Many do not save. Those who save only save leftovers of their income. And even others end up eating their savings reserves and undoing their success. Thus, in retirement it is common to see many people whose savings cannot save them and investors whose investments produce more anxiety than income. To have a restful retirement life you must save more than you spend and invest in ways that give you financial freedom before retirement. The question is why do many people struggle to save this way?
The answer is simple, but it has little to do with the economy, your employer, or the government and more to do with the financial decisions you are making every day. Let’s see some of the reasons why you spend more than you save.
Why you Spend More Than Save
There are only two reasons why you spend more than you save. The first is that you value today’s comfort over tomorrow’s security. And when the emphasis is on looking good today spending will always stay ahead of savings. The second is that you are working harder on growing a consumptive lifestyle than you are on maximizing a productive lifestyle.
Everyone has two kinds of lifestyle to maintain – a consumptive lifestyle and a productive lifestyle. Your consumptive lifestyle comprises your expenses and everything that drains income away from you. And your productive lifestyle comprises your skills, relationships, sources of income and everything that produces more income for you. The challenge is that most people can sit in their living room and increase their consumptive budget by 50% or 100% in a year simply by buying the latest car, iPhone or adding a new member to their family. But only a few people can increase their productive lifestyle (Income) by the same amount in the same year.
Research shows that most people would still be earning their first salary but for the regular salary increases and promotions that have increased their income over time. This means that if left alone only a few people can significantly increase their income outside their salary. Thus, at the end of a typical calendar year it is common to see people who have created more financial load than their income can handle.
Many years of financial load surpassing income and savings are completely eroded. Thus, at the end of most people’s career life they have succeeded in making other people richer through their spending than making themselves richer through their savings. Saving more than you spend is the only way to escape this rabbit hole.
But why should you save more than you spend and is this truly necessary? Let’s take a look.
Why Save more than You Spend
As a working professional the odds are stacked up against you. You earn a limited amount of income and have limited resources. Your regular income earning period is fixed to 30 years. Your time is consumed by one source of income limiting your extra income opportunities. Your relationships are more wealth- draining than wealth-creating. Your future goals are bigger and more expensive than your living standard goals. And your body will be requiring more maintenance after 30 years of a stressful work life. All this means that you will require more funds in the future than you do today. And you will require these funds in the absence of salary. Thus, the only way to survive in the absence of salary is to save a bigger portion of your income today, get rich slowly, and build solid passive income that can make you richer in the later part of your life than the former. This means that you must get to the point where your savings become your solid base and where your livelihood is funded from stable passive income than active income.
But how do you achieve this goal? Let’s take a look.
How to Save More Than You Spend
There are only two ways to save more than you spend. The first way is to earn income that is double or triple your current expenses. And the second way is to reduce your current expenses to half of your income and live a simpler and less consumptive lifestyle. Both options require growth, discipline, and delayed gratification and is easier said than done. Yet doing hard and difficult things like this that many people would not do is the only way to achieve your desired success.
To double or triple your income, the fastest way is to add a second source of income that can give you half, the same or more income than your current expenses. To do this you need to develop high income skills and look outside your salary income. Your salary can only crawl to success and your job-based skills and certification can at best give you another sluggish job-based income. To earn income quickly you must earn like a business owner.
You must find a source of income that can help you earn business-based income without the stress of owning a business. This income must require little of your time and must produce income that is bigger than the workload. To earn this kind of income you need to develop three skills.
The first is problem solving and creativity skills – the ability to identify high income problems and completely solve them using your own resources and creativity. The second is rich relationship building skills – the ability to identify, form and nurture wealth-creating relationships that can expand your opportunities, possibilities, and options. And the third is sales and marketing skills – the ability to find a customer, convince them to purchase a viable product and make the sale with little or no external help. Without these three skills, all you will have are multiple painstaking extra income options that require hard work and long hours like your current job, but are yet too weak to give you the financial freedom that you desire.
The second thing you must do is to live a simpler and less consumptive life. Living a simpler life means anchoring your expenses at a point that is the same or lesser than your savings. The first step to achieving this is to see your bonuses, allowances, and annual salary increases as investing income and not spending income. If you cannot live within your 12months salary budget, you have a high maintenance lifestyle. The second step is to make your savings fail proof. One of the biggest time-wasting activities is to save and end up eating your savings. Savings are for investing and not for spending and the only way to protect your savings from yourself is to make them fail-proof.
The third step is to invest without losing money. Losing money through investing is another big-time waster. Thus, to invest without losing money you must focus your investing on generating stable passive income and not risky, unreliable, and volatile returns.
It is better to be richer in the second half of your life when you can pursue your own goals, achieve self-actualization and build a lasting legacy than to spend your whole life working for food and survival.
If you need help saving more than you spend, making your savings fail- proof, developing high income skills and earning income that can double your savings and cash reserves we can help you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace O. Agada is the most sought-after financial freedom expert in Nigeria. She is a renowned author, financial advisor and keynote speaker. And she is popularly known as the financial freedom advisor for working class seeking to join the upper class. Her goal is to help working professionals and CEOs fund their lives from passive income, escape middle-class poverty and Join the upper class. Agada is the author of three books and possibly the most widely read financial articles. Her articles are spread across seven national newspapers and four of the most popular Nigerian blogs. Agada is also the Founder of the University of Wealth, the Rich Retirement Life Quarterly Publication, the Wealth Creating Employee Quarterly Report, and the Wealthy Business Blueprint Programme. Agada has been featured on BBC Africa, Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. And she consults for numerous top organizations, company directors, CEOs, C-Suite executives, and high-income professionals. To connect with Agada , send an email to email@example.com
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It Isn’t Customers’ Duty To Repair Transformers, Cables ,Others – Commission
It is not the responsibility of electricity consumers/customers or communities to buy, replace or repair transformers, poles, cables and related items used in power supply, according to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
The disclosure was made on Wednesday in Benin, the Edo State capital by FCCPC’s Executive Commissioner, Operations, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, in his remarks at the opening of the commission’s four-day electricity consumers’ complaints’ resolution platform, which was sponsored by MacArthur Foundation and attended by many consumers.
Abdullahi stated that there were many issues in electricity consumption in Nigeria while condemning the disconnection of consumers’ lines without notice, outrageous/crazy bills, non-supply of paid-for meters and disregard for regulations, among other complaints by electricity consumers in the country.
He said: “The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), an independent regulatory body, has the authority to regulate the electric power industry in the country, while FCCPC is to protect consumers throughout Nigeria.
“Electricity consumers in Nigeria have right to properly installed and functional meters. Payment for meters shall not be made if meters are not available. The Meter Asset Provider (MAP) shall install the meters on the premises of the customers within ten working days of payment.
“Unmetered customers shall not experience any cost increase, beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area. Customers have the right to contest bills and withhold payment of disputed bills.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs. Funke Osibodu, in her goodwill message, insisted that officials of the company were trying their best to make their customers in the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti happy, thereby quickly resolving issues.
Osibodu, who was represented by BEDC’s Chief State Head for Edo, Mr. Abel Enechaziam, stated that she was aware of limited power supply and inadequate metering, which she said should not be blamed on the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), stressing that BEDC was always ready to listen to the consumers’ complaints, with quick actions being taken.
The BEDC’s managing director also stressed that there was inadequate supply of meters by NERC while pointing out that DisCos across Nigeria were facing challenges from the generation and transmission of power, which she said would soon be resolved.
A top official of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Mr. Akinbadejo Akinleye, while also speaking, noted that the agency’s officers were always striving to ensure the maintenance of quality in electricity management in the country.
One of the displeased consumers of BEDC, Daniel Ikhanaede, lamented having about four days of electricity supply in a month, in a small residential apartment in Benin, only to receive outrageous bill of over N200,000.
Peter Asekhaino, a lawyer, who is the Legal Adviser to Hotel Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, revealed that he earlier wrote over forty complaint letters, on behalf of his clients, to BEDC’s head office in Benin, without response, while tendering photocopies of the un-replied to letters, particularly on overbilling, wondering why a hotel’s monthly bill would suddenly jump from N900,000 to over N6 million.
While also speaking, an aggrieved elderly customer, Pa Vincent Igbinosu, lamented the irregular supply of electricity to his house in the Edo State capital. He urged that monthly crazy bills should be looked into.
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