PENCOM Board: Abaribe, Other Senators Reiterate Opposition to Buhari’s Nominee

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By Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and some other Senators on Wednesday reiterated their opposition to the nomination of Aishat Dahir Umar for the exalted office of Director General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senate Minority Leader had at plenary while seconding the motion by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, that the screening and confirmation of the nominees for the National Pension Commission Board be referred to Senate committee on Establishment and Public Sevice maintained his earlier position that replacement for the erstwhile Director General of the PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu should have come from the South East.
He said: “I second the motion but I still maintain my objection to the nomination of Aisha Umar for the position of PENCOM Director General.”
One of the Senators opposed to the nomination of Aishat Umar told THISDAY that Senators across party divides from South West, South East and North Central geo-political zones met on Tuesday night in Abuja to perfect opposition to Buhari’s nominee for Director General of the Board.
The ranking Senator maintained that Aishat Umar’s nomination was a breach of provisions of Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, which provided that “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”
The Senator who spoke on condition of anonymity recalled that “when Alhaji M.K. Hamman from Gombe from same North East was in the saddle as Director General, he spent his mandatory two term of eight years.
Aishat Umar has even spent eight years as Director in PENCOM”.
He disclosed that Mrs. Chinelo Anohu had since taken up appointment as Executive Director at African Development Bank, alleged that Hajiya Umar’s nomination is being promoted by certain APC leaders who see her as capable of meeting their expectations of a pliable DG in PENCOM ahead of 2023 elections.
“They already see PENCOM fund as coming handy for them in next general elections. Unfortunately for them, their candidate isn’t a core regulator. ”
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday in a letter addressed to President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan nominated the duo of Dr Oyindasola Oluremi Oni and Aishat Umar from North central and North east respectively for the office of Chairman and DG of the Board.
Others nominated as Commissioners include Hannatu Musa (North-West); Clement Akintola (South-West); Ayim Nyerere (South-East) and Charles Emukowhale (South-South).