The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has again failed to provide the statement of its accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee investigating the alleged withdrawal of N33 billion from the commission’s account.
investigating the activities of the National Pension Commission
The committee had written to PenCom several times – During a hearing of the committee in Abuja, yesterday, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Johnson Agbonayinma, said that the committee had written to PenCom several times, requesting for various documents to assist with the tracking of the missing funds but all to no avail.
“WE HAVE WRITTEN SEVERAL LETTERS…’SUBMIT YOUR BANK STATEMENT AND ALL TRANSACTIONS WITH CBN.’ UP TILL NOW (NO RESPONSE). EVERY REQUEST THAT WE HAVE MADE, THEY ARE JUST MANOEUVRING. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT US TO DO TO GET YOUR ATTENTION TO SUBMIT IT? LOOK AT THE CBN, EVERYTHING WE REQUESTED THEY HAVE SUBMITTED.”
Another issue was the number of accounts the commission has
The issue became a mystery when there was a difference of opinion between CBN and PenCom on how many accounts PenCom operated on.
Disagreement over the number of accounts – The Central Bank of Nigeria said PenCom has five accounts, while the Head of PenCom‘s Contributory Bond and Redemption Department, Mr. Lana Loyinmi, who stood in for the the Acting Director-General, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said “I think it is about three.”
However, after further questioning, Loyinmi said “I don’t know the exact number.” According to him, the information could be provided by PenCom’s Director of Finance, who was unfortunately absent at the hearing.
Agbonayinma’s response to PenCom’s indecisiveness
As expected, Agbonayinma was not happy with the inconsistencies. He said:
“WE HAVE THE CBN HERE. WE ASKED THEM AND THEY TOLD US THE NUMBER. DURING THE LAST PUBLIC HEARING, THE ACTING DG ALSO SPECIFIED IT. IN HER SUBMISSION, SHE TOLD US THEY HAD ONE BUT THE CBN CAME AND TOLD US THAT YOU HAVE FIVE ACCOUNTS. YOU (LOYINMI) SAID THEY ARE THREE; IF YOU DON’T KNOW, YOU DON’T KNOW. DON’T ASSUME. IF YOU ARE HERE TO REPRESENT THE ACTING DG AND YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MANY ACCOUNTS PENCOM OPERATES WITH CBN, THERE IS A PROBLEM.”
The aim of the investigation – Agbonnayinma, said that the aim of the investigation was to correct the wrongs in the commission and to move the nation forward saying that it was not about a witch-hunt.