‘First Guarantee Pension Board is Ready to Resume Business’

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Ebere Nwoji

The Board and Management of First Guarantee Pension Limited, one of the licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in Nigeria, said owners of the company are ready to resume normal business operations, six years after suspension of the company’s former board and management by the insurance sector regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

Vice Chairman of the company, Nze Chidi Duru, who stated this during a courtesy visit to THISDAY Newspapers, said that the board is ready to take back the company and hand it over to its owners.

“We are looking forward to resuming in First Guarantee Pension to take back our business and hand back the business to the directors and shareholders of the company,” he said.

Duru, who condemned what he described as series of endless litigations against his person and board of First Guarantee Pension by PenCom, said the charges against the company had been nullified by the court.

He said the court affirmed that the multiplicity of charges against the management and board of First Guarantee Pension and the effort to have the board of the company suspended was deliberate.

“Deliberate to the extent that they liked to distract attention from the main issue that is the enforcement and implementation of judgement that nullified comprehensively target examination report by PenCom on First Guarantee pension and also voided the appointment of an interim management committee that has continued to run the business of the company in the last six years”.

He added: “Now that that the charge has been nullified by a court of more competent jurisdiction, it validates the view held and we are looking forward to resuming in First Guarantee Pension to take back our business and hand back the business to the directors and shareholders of the company.”

On the interim board and management appointed by the regulator to oversee the affairs of the company in the past six years, Duru said from day one, the judge, had in a well-considered 123 page judgement in 2012, condemned the action of PenCom, one, for disobeying the initial order of the court and two, for appointing an interim management committee for First Guarantee Pension against the existing and subsisting order of the court and for removing the legislatively and legally appointed board of the company.

He said what was left was the enforcement of that judgement of the court as well as a positive order of the court in a 15 page declaratory that mandated the board to resume back in its office and take over its responsibility.

He said what fueled the whole charges and litigations which held First Guarantee Pension hostage for six year was the fact that former Director General of PenCom, had a pecuniary interest in the company and had wanted to invest in it, a request which according to him was rejected by the board for corporate governance reasons.