The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee probing the management of over N9trillion of Pension Funds on Thursday summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, and the Director General of PenCom over the fresh N33billion pension fund.
The fresh discovery was said to have been released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, but which was not listed in the schedule of funds due for release to pension fund administrators by the Pension Commission, PENCOM.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Ehiozuwa Agbonnayinma, stated at the public hearing organized by the Committee yesterday that this became for the Apex bank, Accountant General of the Federation, and Director General Pension Commission to trash out the controversial sum.
He said the invitation of the trio, had become necessary in order for the three important agencies sit together with the panel members and do detailed due diligence on the said amounts whereabouts.
“From January to April 2017, we want to know what happened between CBN, AGF’s office and PENCOM,” he said.
According to him, the panel was not out to witch hunt anybody but in the service of the country and Nigeria’s senior citizens
However, stakeholders at the resumed hearing of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating activities of the Pension Commission and violation of PENCOM Act, however declared that the N33 billion was not missing.
This is coming against the backdrop of an indictment on the Pension regulators by retirees.
Pensioners who represented the Nigeria Union of Contributory Pensioners, NUCP, at the hearing yesterday in Abuja, fingered PENCOM as their major obstacle in the smooth operation of the scheme.
Chief Aigbokhaleode Asimiafele, executive officer of the union, accompanied by pastor Adesina Atinsola- Moranto, another retiree, admitted that the regulatory body of the contributory Pension scheme was their major problem.
They expressed worry that as the regulatory body of the Contributory Pension scheme (PENCOM) violated the provisions of the law instead of regulating its activities for optimum benefits of retirees.
However, expatiating further on the union’ s submission , the retirees, requested that the five- yearly periodic review of pension payment as enshrined in the constitution be implemented, with the lump sum and pension benefits paid to all contributors not later than 30 days from retirement date, or allow retiring officers to continue to receive salaries until all entitlements are paid.
They warned that henceforth, rather than use 18 years and 78, 82/84 respectively for male and female,as terminal point of all contributory pension scheme for withdrawals and annuity, death should be the terminal point for such payment to all retirees, whether programmed or annuity.
The union also warned PENCOM to stay clear of Union activities among other demands they presented to the House committee for action.