From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has assured that it was tackling noticeable challenges in the pension administration in the country to make it better.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, gave the assurance while inaugurating the 16 members National Pension Commission (PENCOM) Board.
The SGF who noted that Nigeria, in recent times has had to tackle challenges in the area of pension administration, despite the constitutional and statutory provisions guaranteeing pension payment, said it was these challenges that necessitated the pension reform of 2004.
He explained that the pension reform of 2004, was a mandatory Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for employees of both public and private sectors, with few exceptions in the public service.
Mustapha however, regretted that the sector could not meet its mandates for which it was established, hence the need to rejig the board and make it look into the challenges of the sector.
“As a government, we are always conscious of our responsibilities with regards to payment of pensions to eligible retirees in the Federal Public Service. We are committed to discharging these responsibilities despite the perennial challenges, especially as caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic manifesting in dwindling revenue accruing to the nation,” Mustapha said.
The SGF however warned the board to desist from getting involved directly in the day-to-day management of parastatal and agencies.
He stressed that it is only the minister who exercises control of parastatals at policy level through the board of the parastatal.
The board chaired by Dr. Onyindasola Oni, also has Aisha Dahir-Umar, Clement Akintola, Mr Anyim Nyerere, Mr Charles Sylvester, Mr Festus Dauda, Mrs Anita Shitu, Comrade Ayuba Waba, Dr Bobboi Kaigama, Dr Abel Afolayan, Dr Timothy Olawale as members.
Others include Mr Edward Adamu, Mr Lamido Yuguda, Mr Oscar Onyema, Mr Olorundare Sunday, and Executive Commissioner (Administration) representing the North West geo-political zone (pending senate confirmation of the nominee).
Responding on behalf of the board members, Oni expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing them as board members of PENCOM.
She pledged the board’s commitments to steer the affairs of the commission without any blemish.
Aisha Dashir-Umar, Director-General of PENCOM, who is also member of the board, assured that the board would work as a team to discharge its responsibilities to achieve the set goals of the commission.