Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The South East Senate Caucus has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Aishat Umar as the Director General of the National Pensions Commission (PENCOM).
The caucus at a meeting held at the weekend at the instance of Senate Minority Leader , Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, faulted the nomination of Umar for confirmation as substantive DG of PENCOM.
A ranking Senator who attended the meeting told THISDAY that Senators from the five South East states agreed that replacement for the former Director-General (DG) of PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, from Anambra state must come from any of the states from the geo-political zone.
According to him, the South East Senators based their argument on provisions of the 2014 Pension Act which states 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.”
They maintained that by virtue of provisions of Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, replacement for Anohu-Amazu, must come from the South East.
The Caucus has, therefore, resolved to present their position before the Senate committee on Public Service and Establishment to which the PENCOM Board nominees had been referred to last week week by the upper legislative chamber for further legislative work.
Anohu-Amazu who had since been appointed as Executive Director of African Development Bank (AfDB) was removed as DG in 2017, two clear years to the end of her tenure.
Attempts by President Buhari to get one Aliyu Abdulrahman Dikko to fill the vacancy created by Anohu -Amazu’s exit was check mated by the leadership of the Eighth Senate led by former Kwara state governor, Dr Bukola Saraki
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan at last Wednesday plenary mandated the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to screen President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for appointment as Chairman, Director General and Commissioners of the National Pension Commission despite sustained opposition from his colleagues.
Apart from Dr Oyindasola Oluremi Oni and Aishat Umar nominated for the Chairman and DG of the Pension Board respectively, other PENCOM Board members whose names were sent to the Senate by President Buhari for confirmation as Commissioners were Hannatu Musa (North-West); Clement Akintola (South-West); Ayim Nyerere (South-East) and Charles Emukowhale (South-South).