Kwara Government To Build Split Underpass To Ease Traffic

Kwara, UnderpassThe Kwara State Executive Council has approved the construction of a three-phased diamond split underpass at the Gerin Alimi roundabout in Ilorin, the state capital as part of efforts to ease traffic congestion in the area.

Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Aro Yahaya, said that the project is expected to be completed in 18 months and will be the third in the country.

The Geri Alimi area is the first contact for anyone visiting Ilorin from other states and usually gets busy especially in the morning and evening thereby causing traffic holdups for hours.

Aro Yahaya, while briefing journalists on the need for the project, explained that when completed, it would not only ease traffic but add to the aesthetic of the area as it is expected to be an engineering masterpiece and architectural beauty.

He added that the first phase of the project will cost N2.9 billion, and the funding would be from the 10 billion Naira the state government is sourcing from the bond market.

The design of the underpass will be the third in the country as they only exist in Mabushi in Abuja and Maryland in Lagos.

In a graphical demonstration of how the project would look like when completed, the contractor handling the project and Managing Director of Bal Engineering Limited, Bashir Lawal, explained that Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and a security post would be provided to provide adequate security in and around the interchange.

Lawal noted that the project would provide aesthetic and architectural beauty to the area and ease human and vehicular movements.

Also speaking at the briefing, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mahmoud Ajeigbe, said that the council has approved the contributory pension scheme for civil servants who joined the civil service from 1987 to date while those employed before the date would remain under the current scheme.

Mahmoud explained that the approval was sequel to the realization that the revenue base of the state could no longer sustain the old pension scheme.

Jonathan Signs Pension Reform Bill Into Law

Jonathan hands to chestPresident Goodluck Jonathan has signed the 2014 Pension Reform Bill into law.

The Act, among other highlights, provides stiffer penalties that would serve as deterrent against mismanagement or diversion of pension funds’ assets under any guise.

With the new law, operators who mismanage pension funds would be liable on conviction to not less than ten years imprisonment or fine of an amount equal to three times the amount so misappropriated, or diverted, or both imprisonment and fine.

The law also empowers PENCOM to institute criminal proceedings against employers who persistently fail to deduct and or remit pension contributions of their employees within the stipulated time.

This was not provided for by the old 2004 Act, which only allowed PENCOM to revoke the licence of erring operators.

The signing ceremony, which took place  in the office of the President, was witnessed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Muazu.

Convicted Ex-Pension Boss Remanded In Prision

A former Assistant Director at the police pension office, John Yakubu has been remanded in prison despite having pleaded not guilty to a four count charge of false declaration of assets.

Following his plea, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked the court to remand the accused in prison and set a date for trial.

Presiding Judge, Justice Adamu Bello obliged to the application of the EFCC and remanded the accused in prison despite the appeal by his counsel to remain in EFCC

The EFCC re-arraigned the convicted on charges of false declaration of assets.

According to court papers, Yakubu is charged with failing to declare in his asset form, as a civil servant, his interest in SY-A Global Services Limited, a company owned by him and members of his family.

Yakubu is also accused of failing to declare the sum of N285million lodged in fixed deposit in the name of the said company Anda Surrugate named Danjuma Gele.

Yakubu pleaded not guilty to the charges.

This re-arraignment is coming two days after an Abuja High court convicted Mr John Yakubu, a former official of the police pension board.

Following his plea of not guilty, the anti-graft agency asked the court to remand him in prison custody and set a date for trial.

Despite appeal by his lawyer that he should be remanded in EFCC custody; the court directed that he should be sent to prison.

Justice Bello also set trial for the 4th of March 2013; he however allowed the defence to appear before the court before the trial date to make an application for bail.

Mr. John Yakubu was on the 28th of January sentenced to 6 years imprisonment or an option of paying 750,000 after pleading guilty to three count charges of criminal conversion of the police pension fund for personal use.

Pension funds not missing but logged into overseas acct.-Afolabi

Pension funds not missing but logged into overseas acct.-Afolabi

FG to invest more pension fund in stock market

The Federal government is to increase the limits on pension funds’ investment in the stock market to half of their portfolio from a quarter currently, according to proposals from the regulator seen by Reuters, a move that could greatly boost its share index.

Brokers work on the trading floor of the Nigerian stock exchange in the commercial capital Lagos, April 28, 2010.

Nigeria’s pension funds were worth around $13 billion in 2010 and have been growing at a rate of 30 per cent per year.

Its equity market struggled to sustain a recovery after a more than 60 per cent fall in local equities in 2008, which led to a mass exodus of domestic investors, including pension funds.