Jonathan Inaugurates boards of Fed Character Commission, PENCOM

By The Citizen
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President Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated the Boards of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).

Former Bauchi state governor, Adamu Muazu heads PENCOM while Abduraheem Ibrahim, heads the 25-member FCC.

President Jonathan used the event to reassured Nigerians that his administration would not discriminate against any section of the country.

He noted that while constituting the boards, personal integrity, uncommon diligence, unwavering faith in Nigeria and their evident capacity to effectively key into the administration’s transformation agenda were the criteria he put into consideration.

“The Federal Character Commission was conceived as an agency to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the Federal Character Principle with a view to engendering a sense of inclusiveness and equity in appointment in government and all government agencies and parastatals.

“Given the potential for unpatriotic and desperate elements to seek to undermine our national unity by playing on the diversity which              characterises our great nation, it is critical that members of the FCC discharge their constitutional mandate with profound courage and dedication.

“I assure all Nigerians that under my watch, the federal government will give no section of the country any cause to feel excluded, that is why I hereby restate my administration’s commitment to continue to support the Federal Character Commission in successfully meeting its vital constitutional responsibilities”, the President assured.

President Jonathan speaking on the  PENCOM, also assured that while ensuring even spread in appointments and employment in the country, government is also mindful of the fate of retirees who had served the nation.

“It is therefore of paramount importance to this administration that pensioners receive their retirement benefits as at when due”, noting that negative reports associated with the administrations of public sector pension under the old scheme in the recent past was of grave national concern.

Jonathan said, “in addressing this concern we recently took radical measures to restructure the scheme. This included the setting up as provided by law the Pension Constitutional Arrangement Department.

“It is our expectation that the board of PENCOM will work in synergy with this agency to engender a more robust pension system.

“In addition, it is expected that the board will work to secure increase compliance with the Pension Reform Act, expand the coverage of the contributory pension scheme to include the informal sector, explore means of utilizing the pool of funds towards Nigeria’s economic development in line with global best practice and maintain the existing culture of transparency and accountability in the management and custody of the contributory pension fund”.

In his remark, the chairman of the Board of PENCOM and former governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, revealed the board  would explore the possibility of investing in public infrastructure and housing and other areas that would add value to the fund.

He said he would ensure that the commission complied with the President’s directive to ensure the all public organization that have not complied with the Act were made to comply while extending coverage to the informal sector.

“I assure you that we will make sure that compliance is made by the various states that have not complied. The various federal government agencies and indeed, public sector and all informal sector will be made to comply as soon as possible,” he said.

On his part, the chairman of the FCC, Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem, traced the current security challenges in the country to perceived injustice and lack of space, noting that with the support of the federal government, FCC would help to put an end to such challenges.