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N42Billion Fraud Rocks PENCOM, Group Wants Probe

Source: pointblanknews.com
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The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), has urged President Muhammadu

Buhari, to order an immediate investigation into alleged sundry fraudulent

practices in the National Pensions Commission, (PENCOM).

The group specifically alleged that about N42billion collected by PENCOM

in 2012 cannot be accounted for by the Director General, Mrs. Chinelo

Anohu-Amazu.
In a petition addressed to the president and signed by the Executive

Director of the Centre, Comrade Olufemi Lawson, CPA said the petition is

intended to bring to the attention of the president the long list of

infractions, mismanagement and maladministration that is ongoing at the

commission under the leadership of Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu.

A copy of CPA’s petition which was made available to newsmen, read: “Mr.

President, as you may be aware, the Pension Reform Act was enacted in 2004

for sustainable management of retirement benefits of citizens who worked

within the public or private sectors of the federation. As at today, the

accumulated pension assets stand at about N5.4 trillion. From that period

to date, we want to assert that the commission has never been in the worst

state than it is today.
“We affirm that the commission is bedeviled with multiple infractions,

violations of the law and widespread corruption that warrant immediate and

urgent attention of Mr. President.”
Raising its first issue on the annual collection, the Centre alleged that

the Commission is mismanaging the 0.3 per cent annual fees on pension

assets, thereby calling for a thorough investigation into it.

“The commission collects annually, 0.3 per cent on the total pension

assets which presently stands at N5.4 trillion. Annually the commission

collects about N15billion as fees which it spends without any

accountability.
“We challenge the commission to publish how it has expended that annual

fund which is regarded as slush fund by insiders. As at December 2015, the

current Director General of PENCOM has collected N42 billion which she

cannot account for till date.
“We specifically call on the President to order an immediate investigation

into how the N42 billion fees collected by the commission was expended

from 2012 to date.
Similarly, the Center alleged that the Commission’s DG is involved in

illegal application of regulatory powers, stating that there are obvious

cases of harassment and selfish tendencies in the leadership of the

commission.
“In addition to not implementing statutory provision as above, records

showed that the commission under the current Director General has deployed

regulatory powers of the commission for selfish, illegal and family usage.

Pension administrators and custodians are harassed and subjected to unholy

surcharges including share takeover among others.
Currently, the families of commission Director Generals are the owners of

Premium Pension. May we also inform you, that the commission also took

over First Guarantee Pension under flimsy excuses and has refused to obey

court orders directing a return of the firm to the owners. For more than

five years, the commission held on to the firm and is scheming to sell it

to interest known to be close to its Director General.”

While describing the annual World Pension being hosted by PENCOM as a

wasteful expenditure, the Centre said the country is set to waste almost a

million naira for a jamboree like event at a time the country is in

recession.
“Annually, the commission plays host to the World Pension Summit, a body

owned by two brothers from the United States. The commission forced

pension administrators and custodians to pay participation fees while the

commission itself spends almost a billion naira annually to host the

annual event. The 2016 edition of that event is scheduled to hold by

September 27 to 28   in Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
“In this era of recession, this is not just wasteful but corruption laden

and out of tune with the spirit of the era. We call on President Muhammadu

Buhari to direct the Director General to stop the summit forthwith as

Nigeria and pensioners can ill afford such wasteful and extravagant event

meant to enrich a family alleged to be working on behalf of the commission

management.”
CPA also highlighted the non-implementation of transfer window by the

Commission, stating that, “Nigerians deserve to know why depositors are

not allowed to migrate if they so wish. We want to know why billions are

spent without such migration being realized.”

Urging the president to urgently beam a searchlight on the activities of

the commission, the CPA said, “that sector needs urgent clean up if the

world, pensioners and workers are to take the administration seriously.

Among other requests to the president, the Center said, “We also call for

an immediate investigation into the activities of PENCOM, under its

present leadership, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC

and the Independent Corruption Practices and other related offences

related Commission, ICPC.”
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