Ensure efficient deployment of pension funds, Jonathan tells PENCOM

President Goodluck Jonathan

The president inaugurated the PENCOM board on Wednesday

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday in Abuja asked the National Pension Commission, PENCOM, to ensure that they adopt creative strategies in the utilisation of pension funds by investing within and outside the country.

The President was speaking at the inauguration of the PENCOM Board and the swearing-in of members of the Federal Character Commission, FCC.

Mr. Jonathan urged members of the Board to ensure that the pension funds are deployed to the development of the national economy in line with global best practices. He charged PENCOM to maintain the existing culture of transparency and accountability in the management and custody of the contributory pension fund.

The President said that the commission should consider creative foreign investment portfolios in the deployment of the funds, pointing out that other countries with similar funds were coming to invest in
Nigeria.

“There is no reason why PENCOM should not invest within and outside this country to even improve on the funds,” President Jonathan said.

He said that in line with the administration’s commitment to the well-being of retirees, PENCOM must ensure that pensioners receive their retirement benefits as and when due.

The President said his administration undertook a reform of the sub-sector to correct the negative reports associated with pension administration in the past.

Urging the new board to work in synergy with the new structure in the sub-sector, the President noted that in the recent past, pension administration had become an issue of grave national concern.

In addressing this concern, he said his government recently initiated radical measures to restructure the scheme, including the setting up of the Pension Constitutional Arrangement Department, PCAD, as
provided for by law.

He said the expectation of government was that the PENCOM board would work in synergy with the PCAD to engender a more robust pension system and strive to secure increased compliance with the Pension Reform Act.

The President also underscored the need for PEMCOM to expand the coverage of the contributory pension scheme to include the informal sector.

The six-member PENCOM Board has the former Governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Muazu, as it Chairman.

On the Federal Character Commission, the President said that the agency was conceived to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the Federal Character Principle.

He said the Commission was mandated to engender a sense of inclusiveness and equity in appointments in all government agencies and parastatals.

The President charged the new members of the Commission to discharge their mandate with profound courage and dedication, assuring that, under his watch, the Federal Government would give no section of the country any cause to feel excluded.

He restated his administration’s commitment to continue to support the Commission in the successful discharge of its vital constitutional responsibilities, pointing out that the appointment to PENCOM and FCC was to ensure even spread of appointments and employment in the country.

He said because of the important roles by the two agencies, the appointees were selected based on their “ideals of personal integrity, uncommon diligence and unwavering faith in Nigeria”.

The 24-member FCC sworn in by the President has Shuaib Abdulraheem as Chairman.

(NAN)


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