By Okon Okon/Abuja
Sixteen members of National Pension Commission (PENCOM) board, with Doyinsola Oni, as chairman, were inaugurated in Abuja today by secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
Mustapha told the members of the board to ensure the implementation of sustainable pension policies for the country..
The board is chaired by Dr Oyindasola Oni, an executive director at First Bank.
Other members are the PENCOM director-general, Aisha Dahir-Umar, Clement Akintola, Mr Anyim Nyerere, Mr Charles Sylvester, Mr Festus Dauda, Mrs Anita Shitu, Comrade Ayuba Waba, Dr Bobboi Kaigama, Dr Abel Afolayan and Dr Timothy Olawale.
The remaining members are: Mr Edward Adamu, Mr Lamido Yuguda, Mr Oscar Onyema, Mr Olorundare Sunday, and Executive Commissioner (Administration) representing the North West geo-political zone (pending senate confirmation of the nominee).
While congratulating the board members, Mustapha noted that Nigeria, in recent times has had some challenges in the area of pension administration, in spite of the constitutional and statutory provisions that guarantee pension payment.
According to him, it was these challenges that necessitated the pension reform of 2004, which introduced a mandatory Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for employees of both public and private sectors, with few exceptions in the public service.
He, however, regretted that the sector could not meet its mandate, hence the need to re-establish the board to look into the challenges of the sector.
“As a government, we are always conscious of our responsibilities with regards to payment of pensions to eligible retirees in the Federal Public Service.
“We are committed to discharging these responsibilities in spite of the perennial challenges, especially as caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic manifesting in dwindling revenue accruing to the nation,” he said.
The SGF, however, highlighted the objectives of the board to include formulating and providing general policy guidelines for the discharge of the functions of the commission.
Mustapha also used the occasion to admonish the board to desist from involving directly in the day to day management of parastatals and agencies.
According to him, it is only a minister who exercises control of parastatals at policy level through the board of the parastatal.
Responding on behalf of the board members, Oyindasola Oni expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding it appropriate to appoint all of them as board members of PENCOM, adding that they were indeed very grateful.
Oni, therefore, pledged the board`s commitments to steer the affairs of the commission without any blemish.
Aisha Dashir-Umar, Director-General of PENCOM, who is also member of the board, gave assurance that the board would work as a team to discharge its responsibilities to achieve the set goals of the commission