By Ebere Nwoji
A former board member of the National Pension Commission(PenCom ) and executive Director Centre for Human Rights Advocacy, Ivor Takor, has said the growth and future of the pension sector which presently has over N11.08 trillion fund assets is largely dependent on entrenchment of a formidable board, Takor, also described as relief, the recently announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari of the appointment of a Chairman, Director General and four Commissioners for the PenCom, subject to the confirmation of the Senate.
He stated that the appointment of Mrs. Aisha Dahiru-Umar as the Director-General of the PenCom pending Senate confirmation was a welcome development.
He noted that the 2014 Pension Act provides that, “the Chairman, Director-General and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation by the Senate.”
“The Board of PenCom was dissolved in 2015 or thereabout and for almost five years, the commission has been without a board. It has become a convention in Nigeria that once a new administration is sworn in at the federal level, all governing boards of federal government agencies are dissolved and reconstituted at the pleasure of the president.
“In the absence of the board, PenCom has been managed by a Director-General and currently by an Acting Director-Director General,” he said.
He maintained that it was to the credit of Dahiru-Umar and members of the management Team that PenCom has been able to move the pension industry forward through effective regulation and supervision of the industry; ensuring increased level of compliance by private sector employers, among others.
Responding to the submission of the name of Acting Director General of PenCom, Dahir-Umar, among other board members for confirmation by the National Assembly (NASS), Takor, stated that the step by the President was in accordance with the provision of the Pension Reforms Act(PRA) 2014 and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
At the Senate sitting last Tuesday, the development generated a debate in which some of Senators argued that the former Director-General, PenCom, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, did not fully serve her term and that her replacement should have come from her region to conclude her tenure as stipulated by the law.
However, the Head, corporate communications, PenCom, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, in a statement noted that the President acted in accordance with the law by submitting the Acting DG’s name to the Senate for confirmation, adding that Dahir-Umar was qualified to be confirmed according to the PRA 2014.