From Uche Usim, Abuja
Operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) at the weekend stormed the National Pensions Commission of Nigeria (PenCom) headquarters where dusts raised over the controversial removal of the Director General, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu and the Commissioners is yet to settle.
Sunday Sun learnt that the DSS officials stormed pensions regulatory agency following the rowdy nature of the establishment as some staff were said to have kicked against the abrupt sack of the Chief Executive and Commissioners without recourse to laid down rules and procedures.
The sack of the PenCom management was announced last Thursday through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) without prior notification as stipulated by Section 21(1)(j) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.
After the announcement, neither was the Chief Executive nor the Commissioners served disengagement letters, a development that made Mrs Anohu-Amazu to request that her removal should officially be communicated to her in writing as it is the case in government establishments.
According to a source, “Mrs Anohu-Amazu only wanted to be served a termination letter and told in the same letter who to hand over to. That was also the position of the staff despite the fact that her sack and that of the commissioners had sparked controversy because due process was abused. Again she is not in hiding. She comes to work even as she awaits to be served a disengagement letter”, he said.
Sunday Sun however learnt that the letters got to the affected PenCom management at the weekend.
Consequently, the DSS operatives invaded the premises and manned all the entry and exit points, even as staff were ordered out and frisked to ensure no one smuggled out vital documents or any material belonging to the organization.
The PenCom DG’s removal has already generated ripples in the pensions circle as industry watchers and stakeholders have expressed concerns over the development. They say the sack remains a blight capable vandalising investors confidence and eventually stifling the sector.
Some staff who witnessed the DSS invasion described it as a bravado of guilt.
“It is an act of intimidation and harassment. It was hatched by cabals in the Presidency and we are sure Mr President is not aware. They want to truncate the smooth administration of the pension industry and compromise the safety of the N6.5 trillion pension assets built by the removed leadership. It is sad”, an angry staff stated.
Another worker said: “Mrs. Anohu-Amazu’s ouster is politically motivated despite the fact that she has turned around the fortunes of the hitherto moribund pension industry, which, before her appointment, was growing at a very low rate compared to the immense innovations and international best practices inherent in the pension industry today.”
“The pension asset since the enactment of the Act 2004 to 2014 stood at 2.5 trillion in 10 years and the DG within her three years stay has been able to raise the pension assets to 6.5 trillion. A reflection of the indices shows that she has been able to achieve more prior to her appointment as the DG of the commission.