In self-analysis and an attempt to justify itself from possible charges of committing offenses, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) issued a statement on August 20, 2018, condemning unethical behavior and other unhealthy acts that, according to him, are beyond his operations.
PenCom made strenuous efforts in the application to project its clean relationships with various customers. He stressed that his activities are guided by laws and regulations. He explained that he had developed additional safeguards against misconduct.
"In addition to legal guarantees and institutional checks and balances of the CPS, the Commission, as regulator of all pension issues in Nigeria, has strengthened good corporate governance practices, high ethical standards and zero tolerance for any form of abuse of power in the conduct of its employees and PFA," the statement said. .
As if the Commission defended itself to the jury, it strongly denied the existence of corruption in the Nigerian pension industry and how it operates: "The leadership and staff of the Commission do not receive money or other forms of satisfaction to facilitate the payment of pension benefits, the issuance of certificates of conformity and participation of suppliers and service providers. The commission also does not / does not accept kickbacks from any person or organization in the performance of their duties. "
The statement, most likely, will attract little attention in ordinary times. However, given the numerous recent demonstrations against delays in the payment of pensions by contributors under the Pension Contribution Program (CPS), including reportedly organized by retired Nigerian television in Abuja, this is not the usual time for the commission. This should be more than a comforting statement designed to maintain the trust and trust of pensioners in the CPS and manage their own affairs.
Some pensioners who could not immediately pay their pensions, as the component of the Fund for the redemption of benefits on their right was not credited to their pension savings accounts, it may be erroneous to assume that they need "to give something something to someone" before they will be paid. The assumption is wrong. It reflects a misunderstanding of the provisions of the Law on Pension Reform of 2014, caused by inadequate sensitization. We can say that the pension payment system in accordance with the Law, managed and controlled by PenCom, eliminated the possibility of contracting under the table.
Nevertheless, PenCom should not be so confident in the purity of all the other elements in the chain of the pension industry without careful study or be complacent in dealing with possible negligent practices. A constant vigilance is necessary.
Indeed, precisely because there is corruption in the society, that the administration of President Muhammad Bukhari has set one of its main goals. Thus, PenCom has the right to contribute to the effort by establishing "good corporate governance practices, high ethical standards and zero tolerance for any form of abuse of power in the conduct of its employees and PFA". Publication of information about its personnel and PFA staff authorized for violation of the rules will underline the zero tolerance of PenCom to abuse of power.
In another self-training exercise, PenCom was presented on this page in the editorial office of this newspaper on August 24, 2018, accusing the delay in paying off the accrued pension rights to pensioners of the federal civil service under the CPS in the National Assembly. PenCom explained that the National Assembly has consistently reduced its "absolute" requests to allocate budget funds to the Fund for the redemption of benefits.
In order to put an end to the alleged negative attitude of the National Assembly towards the mature part of the implicit pension debt, pressure groups such as the National Union of Retired Persons and the CPS Retirees Association must jointly lobby the relevant committees of the Senate and the Chamber to ensure that all subsequent requests for budgetary allocations to the Fund from PenCom approved.
Pensioners in each constituency must write petitions to those who submit them to the legislature, demanding their support in approving budgetary allocations for the Fund for the redemption of benefits.