The National Pension Commission (PenCom), on Tuesday, again failed to provide required documents to the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee investigating the alleged withdrawal of N33 billion from the commission’s account.
At a hearing in Abuja, the Chairman of the Committee, Johnson Agbonayinma (APC-Edo), said that the committee had written to PenCOM 10 times, requesting for various documents to enable the investigation but the commission had consistently failed to supply.
He said that the committee requested for account statements of the commission, minutes of its 46th board meeting among other documents.
The lawmaker 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 witch-hunt.
He said that many retired officers had died trying to accessing their benefits many years after retirement.
Agbonayinma said that every officer will grow old and retire one day and if not corrected, the issues of accessing retirement benefits would get more complicated for the aged.
He chairman said that all other parties in the investigation which includes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the Head of Service, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pension Fund Administrators(PFA) had all provided documents requested for by committee.
According to him, some of the submission contradicts the explanations made by PenCom on the alleged missing N35 billion in the cause of the hearing.
The chairman said that the investigation was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive to end corruption in the country.
In his explanations on the alleged missing funds, the Head of Contribution Bond and Redemption Department of PenCom, Mr Loyinmi Lana said that there was a process the funds must follow before it gets to the final stage where the retired gets the benefits.
He said that in some cases, other agencies such as he Office of the Account General of the Federation were involved in the process which should be funded by the Federal Government.
Accounting to him, at the contribution stage, there is no problem but we have a problem at the Federal Government counterpart funding stage.
On the failure to present document requested for by the committee, Lana said that there were some ambiguity in the letters from the committee.
He said that the committee did not specifically demand for account statement but requested for evidence of commission’s activities within a given period which it complied.
He, however, said that the commission will finish the committee with every other relevant document requested for by Thursday.
The House of Representatives had in December 2018 resolved to investigate the activities of PenCom from April 2017 to date.
The aim was to account for N33 billion pension fund allegedly missing from the coffers of PenCom.