Uche Usim, Abuja
The acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, (PenCom) Aisha Dahir-Umar has allayed the fears of anxious Nigerians that the nation’s N8.6 trillion pension assets were at risk of quick depletion over a plethora of reasons.
Speaking at a public hearing organised by an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives set up to investigate the activities of PenCom, Dahir-Umar said the funds were safe and dismissed claims that lack of composition of the board of the Commission had put pension investments under threat.
However, the committee listed some areas of grave concern, especially on the allegation of disagreement caused by some appointments at the commission; allegation of illegal increase in the number of directors, and illegal increase in the commission’s benefit by 300 per cent among others.
In her submission, the acting PenCom boss described the allegations as wild, unfounded and baseless.
She said: “Our submission is that the allegations are all false, unfounded. The facts on the ground do not in any way indicate any case of contravention of the Pension Reform Act 2014 by the commission.
“We strongly believe the House does not have the right information and we believe that given the right information, the House will disregard the allegations before it.”
On illegally swelling the number of directorates, Dahir-Umar said: “It is incorrect to state that additional directorates have been created by the Commission during the current transitional period.
“Furthermore, the Commission has not recruited any additional Director since the beginning of the transitional period in April 2017 to date.
“What happened was a normal and duly approved promotion exercise for career staff of the Commission, where three Deputy General Managers were promoted to the grade of General Managers after duly satisfying the established criteria.”
On allegation of over gale of appointments, she said that Section 19(3) of the PRA 2014 stated that only the President had the power to appoint the Chairman, Director-General and the four Commissioners for the board.