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Pension Fraud, An Abuse Of Public Trust - Lamorde

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ABUJA, May 25, (THEWILL) - The recently revealed fraudulent activities in pension administration in the country are an abuse of public trust, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde has said.

Lamorde made the observation in a paper he presented on Thursday at a workshop organised by the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria (CIPN) in Abuja. In the paper delivered on his behalf by Mr. Wakili Mohammed, director, internal affairs, Lamorde bemoaned the mind-boggling scam at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation Pension office.

“It was not so much the mind-boggling amount of money that was stolen as the brazen way the looting was carried out and who was doing the stealing that shocked us at the EFCC,” he said.

Lamenting the paradox between the country’s huge natural resource endowment and widespread poverty, the EFCC boss blamed the country’s woes on corruption, saying the only way confidence could be restored in the conduct of public affairs in the country is through restoration of family values and aggressive law enforcement.

“From the position of a law enforcement officer, the only answer is to enforce the law! That is the only way to restore and sustain public confidence in the face of daily brutal trashing of public morality and trampling of social ethics,” he declared.

Speaking while declaring the workshop open, President of CPIN, Barrister Ose Ogunkorode described the training as crucial and timely in view of recent happenings in the pension industry.

He said the programme was organised to awaken the consciousness of stakeholders to good corporate governance and best practices in the industry. He challenged participants to be active change agents who would ensure that all deserving retirees benefit from their years of labour without being short-changed.

In his contribution, Ivor M. Tankor, a director with Nigeria Pension Commission, PenCOM, said that if the government, the regulators and all stakeholders in the pension industry would do their jobs in accordance with the law, there would be a great deal of accountability in pension matters.

He identified corruption as the biggest challenge facing the industry but emphasised that timely disclosure of information would enable law enforcement agencies do their work whenever the need arises.