‘We won’t surrender to blackmail’ — PenCom says it is ready for ‘any probe’



Aisha Dahir-Umar, the director-general of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), says the commission is ready to open its books for scrutiny.


There are online reports that some civil society groups have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and are ready to mobilise “mass action” against PenCom over allegations of fraud.


In a statement issued at the weekend, Dahir-Umar said PenCom is aware of a co-ordinated plan to bring the commission into disrepute “with frivolous petitions”.


She said it is being done in collaboration with “disgruntled insiders”.


 “These elements, some of whom are yet to come to terms with the fact that PenCom is no longer at their beck and call, have been sponsoring negative media reports and getting faceless groups to write frivolous petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” Dahir-Umar said.


“Although some low-level media outfits are giving a voice to these defamatory petitions, those who know how we conduct our affairs at PenCom are not in any way bothered. Since I took over as the DG, we have undertaken far-reaching reforms within the organisation which are yielding positive results.”


She said the era of “anything goes” as long “dead and buried”.


 “Those who think they can use the commission to make money or that they should be the ones calling the shots are bitterly disappointed and are sponsoring false publications and trumped-up petitions. We will co-operate fully with the agencies. Our message to the disgruntled elements today is exactly as it was yesterday: we will not allow anyone to pilfer pension funds for self-aggrandizement. It will never happen under my watch,” she said, adding that if PenCom had anything to hide, “we would have surrendered to the agents of blackmail who have been on our case since 2017 when I became acting DG”.

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