The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated 16 members of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) board to proffer innovative and feasible solutions to the challenges of pension administration in Nigeria.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), at the inauguration on Thursday in Abuja, said members of the PENCOM board were also urged to ensure the implementation of sustainable pension policies.
While congratulating the board members, Mr Mustapha noted that Nigeria, in recent times had some challenges in the area of pension administration, in spite of the constitutional and statutory provisions that guarantee pension payment.
According to him, it was these challenges that necessitated the pension reform of 2004, which created PENCOM and introduced a mandatory Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for employees of both public and private sectors, with few exceptions in the public service.
He, however, regretted that the sector could not meet the mandates for which it was established, hence the need to re-establish the PENCOM board to look into the challenges of the sector.
“As a government, we are always conscious of our responsibilities with regards to payment of pensions to eligible retirees in the Federal Public Service.
“We are committed to discharging these responsibilities in spite of the perennial challenges, especially as caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic manifesting in dwindling revenue accruing to the nation,” he said.
The SGF, however, highlighted the objectives of the PENCOM board to include formulating and providing general policy guidelines for the discharge of the functions of the commission.
Mr Mustapha also used the occasion to admonish the board to desist from involving directly in the day-to-day management of the agency.
According to him, it is only a minister who exercises control of parastatal at policy level through the board of such parastatal.
The PENCOM board chaired by Oyindasola Oni, has Aisha Dahir-Umar, Clement Akintola, Anyim Nyerere, Charles Sylvester, Festus Dauda, Anita Shitu, Ayuba Waba, Bobboi Kaigama, Abel Afolayan, Timothy Olawale as members.
Other members of the board include Edward Adamu, Lamido Yuguda, Oscar Onyema, Olorundare Sunday, and Executive Commissioner (Administration) representing the North West geo-political zone (pending senate confirmation of the nominee).
Responding on behalf of the board members, Dr Oni expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding it appropriate to appoint all of them as board members of PENCOM, adding that they were indeed very grateful.
Oni, therefore, pledged the board`s commitments to steer the affairs of the commission without any blemish.
Aisha Dashir-Umar, director-general of PENCOM, who is also member of the board, gave assurance that the board would work as a team to discharge its responsibilities to achieve the set goals of the commission.