Pension

PenCom explains reasons for suspension of recruits

Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has explained the reasons behind the suspension of the recruitment of 41 workers into the Commission.

The Acting Director-General, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar who spoke with journalists in Lagos said the exercise which was scheduled to resume on May 2 last year, was suspended due to anomalies and irregularities discovered in the process.

She stated that 41 candidates had been given employment letters after an interview which was cancelled over some irregularities.

She noted that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) had directed the Commission to suspend the recruitment after observing the irregularities in the process.

She said: “Half of the candidates were asked to resume on May 1, 2017 and the rest in June of the same year. The Federal Character Commission (FCC) gave certificate of “no objection” for the interview. The next step was for the Commission to request for Certificate of Compliance to give out letters of employment following the interview. While that was been awaited, the executive of PenCom was sacked. The DG as at the time quickly distributed the letters, without the certificate from FCC.

“Meanwhile, the FCC in its letter authorising the interview had given two conditions. That the Commission must collect the required certificate before giving out employment letters and must use that recruitment to balance the lop-sidedness of staffing in the Commission. When I resumed in April last year, our Human Relations department gave me a letter from the FCC suspending the resumption of those recruited. Based on that letter, I asked HR to meet with the FCC to find a way forward. The FCC advised that the exercise be suspended, that those affected should be informed and that they should be considered in subsequent recruitment exercises.

“Every recommendation was followed to the later. We did try to get the National Assembly House Committee on Fededral Character to reconsider its stand through the House Committee on Pension and the Senate Committee on Establishment but both failed. Instead, a letter of reminder was sent to us on the suspension. The Commission was also invited and warned not to accommodate the new recruits due to irregularities of the exercise.

“Every recommendation was followed to the later. We did try to get the House Committee on Federal Character to reconsider its stand through the House Committee on Pension and the Senate Committee on Establishment but both failed. Instead, a letter of reminder was sent to us on the suspension. The Commission was also invited and warned not to accept the new recruits due to irregularities of the exercise. The recruits had petitioned General Olusegun Obasanjo, the office of the Secretary General of Federation (SGF) and the Chief of staff to the President. They also reported the matter to the Ministry of Information. All called me and I explained to them what happened”, she added.

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