Nigeria: PenCom Loses Confidence in National Committee Leadership

17 April 2019

The National Pension Commission(PenCom) has declared loss of confidence in the leadership of the House of Representative ad-hoc committee set up to investigate its activities.

A source, who disclosed this, advised the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ehionzuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, to step down from the committee since there is an alleged case of conflict of interest in the committee's activities.

The commission had explained that feud between Agbonayinma and its management ensued after it was discovered that the Chairman's daughter secured employment in Pencom with fake certificates, which ultimately led to her sack, a situation which the commission alleged had resulted in threats against its management.

The development is coming on the heels of the House of Representative Ad-hoc Committee's investigation into the activities of PenCom from April 2017, to date under the chairmanship of Agbonayinma.

Prior to the commencement of the investigation, the Commission had embarked on a routine certificate verification exercise and it was discovered that the Chairman's daughter secured employment in PenCom with fake certificates, which ultimately led to her sack.

Efforts to get PenCom's Head of Communication, Peter Aghahowa to comment on the development proved abortive.

Sources within the pension industry who spoke on condition of anonymity told journalists in Lagos that there are indications that the Ad-hoc Committee's leadership was no longer fair in its proceedings and instead is engaged in "witch hunt" that would inevitably produce an unjust outcome.

One of the source said: "This development has heightened concerns that the Chairman has personalised the investigation which led to the Commission's loss of confidence in the leadership of the Ad-hoc Committee.

"Pencom and some operators had expected that the Chairman would recuse himself from the Ad-hoc Committee with this glaring case of conflict of interest but he has continued to pursue an agenda of harassment of officers of the Commission that appeared before the Committee.

"The Commission believes that he lacks the requisite impartiality to preside over the Committee's proceedings and it is doubtful that the Commission would get justice in this investigation. This concern has been communicated to the Leadership of the House."

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