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Reps move to reinstate 43 suspended PENCOM employees



The House of Representatives may have finalised arrangements to order the reinstatement of 43 employees whose appointments were suspended by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).

The House, Ad-hoc Committee, led by Emmanuel Agbonayinma investigating alleged disappearance of N33 billion pensions funds, noted that it could not understand why PENCOM left the employees in the unemployment market after they were duly engaged.

Agbonayinma, who spoke during the committee’s proceedings, said he was particularly pained that some of the employees had to abandon their previous jobs in the hope of starting a career at PENCOM.

Promising to liaise with his counterpart at the Federal Character Committee, Mohammed Idris Wase, to address the issue, he maintained that the treatment meted to the employees was not in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to tackle unemployment in the country.

Speaking in the same vein, Wale Oke (Osun PDP) explained that it behooves on the House to wade into the matter since section 62 of the constitution empowers it to regulate activities of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Acting Director General of PENCOM, Hajia Dahir Umar, explained that the decision to halt the engagement of the employees was based on a directive of the House Committee on Federal Character.

Represented by Head, Contributions and Bond Redemption Department, Olohinmi Lana, she promised to submit documents relating to the commission’s bank accounts for the committee to peruse over the alleged missing funds.

She said notwithstanding the challenges PENCOM faced to live up to its responsibilities in settling pensioners arrears, she faulted the notion that there were missing funds at PENCOM.

Agbonayinma, who directed Umar to produce the documents on Thursday next week, accused her of frustrating his committee by hoarding vital information on pensioners’ funds.

He said he was privy to information from pension fund administrators (PFAs) that six months arrears of pensioners fund in 2018 were yet to be remitted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“We have pensioners who have not received their pay yet, remember you will all retire one day and you would want to get your money as and when due.

The CBN statement show non-disbursement to PFAs and PFA, while the Accountant General of the Federation claimed remittances have been sent to the CBN. The question is why is there no remittance from PENCOM for over six months to the end of 2018,” he stated.

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