26 February 2013

Nigeria: Head of Service Dissolves Pension Reforms Task Force

The Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation acting on the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan has dissolved the Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina-led Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms.

This was confirmed yesterday by the Deputy Director (Information and Public Relations Officer), HoS, Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, who stated that the Task Force had already been dissolved following Presidential directive last week.

Ajakaiye said the memo containing the dissolution was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Establishment and Records Office, HoS, Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan.

He said the memo directed all members of staff in Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms to report back to their respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

"There was a directive by the Presidency to dissolve the Task Force last week, which has been carried out...and the letter was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Establishment and Records Office, directing each member of staff back to his or her original Ministry", he said.

Meanwhile, Maina has still not been apprehended or disciplined following the directive by Jonathan to that effect for failing to appear before the Senate to answer questions on embezzlement of pension funds.

The HoS had on Friday, directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Maina, who in addition to his recent secondment, a Deputy Director in the Customs, Immigration, and Prisons Pensions Office (CIPPO), an agency under the Ministry.

He had noted in his directive to the Permanent Secretary, that the report submitted by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar has indicted the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team of absconding from duty.

He said: "Following the submission of a report from the Inspector-General of Police to Mr. President of the inability of the Nigeria Police to locate the officer, it has become apparent that he has absconded from duty without leave, an action which he said, carries severe penalty in line with Public Service Rules No. 030301 to 030304."

However, further checks on the ministry yesterday showed that top officials are ignorant of what to do to Maina who has not been sighted anywhere in Abuja since last week when the Abubakar declared him wanted for offences bordering on corruption and disrespect for the Senate.

THISDAY findings have shown that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Mrs. Daniel-Nwaobia allegedly delayed action on the Presidential directive to sanction Maina for being absent from duty without permission.

Daniel-Nwaobia was not available for comments and refused to respond to both text messages and calls put across by THISDAY enquiring about the state of the "on-the run" Pension Reforms chief.

It was gathered that she has been waiting for an official letter from the Head of Service on the precise action to take on the Maina's case before carrying out the directive.

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