The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara who was represented at the hearing by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Ado Garba Alhassan has called for an investigation into the activities of the defunct pension task force, said it was the responsibility of the House as the representatives of the people to investigate the matter. This call came while declaring open a public hearing organized on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by the House ad hoc Committee constituted to investigate the pension fund.
In his speech, the Speaker implored “My dear colleagues, we are all aware that the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms was inaugurated on 10th June, 2010, with the mandate to restructure the Head of Service Pension Office, Police Pension office and among others. The Task Force was dissolved in February 2013 after series of allegation of looting of pension fund amounting to N200 Billion which was neither accounted for by neither the Task Force nor the successor agency.
“Following the great significance of this sector in the lives of our citizens especially the retirees and the receipt of numerous complaints and petitions from relevant stakeholders, it became inevitable for the House of Representatives to set up this Ad-hoc Committee to examine all the facts surrounding the activities of the Presidential Task on Pension Reforms during its existence.
“The subject of this investigation has had a checkered history and has become very controversial. I understand that the Senate is also conducting investigations on the subject. As a bicameral Legislature our constituents have inundated us with complaints that gave rise to the Resolution of the House. Where possible you should compare notes with the Senate while maintaining the Independence of your investigations.
“As Members of the Parliament, it is our mandate to represent our people very well, demonstrate transparency and justice to issues that affect the well-being of our people in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other related policies.
“I am confident that this Committee will carry out a thorough unbiased investigation, taking cognizance of the views of all stakeholders and interest groups and at the end, coming up with a report that will not only be fair but will be seen as fair”, he said.
The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee summoned the Ex-Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to appear before it to answer questions on the alleged stealing and diversion of pension funds in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Anayo Nnebe said the reason for the summons is to allow for accountability and thoroughness during the investigative hearing. He added that the Committee would not deal with proxies.
He said: “The issue is very simple. We have heard from PTAD and the Legislative Watch. Former minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela, all the member of the defunct Presidential committee, EFCC, ICPC, Attorney-General, Governor of Central Bank, the IGP, and all the relevant stakeholders are invited by this committee.
”on Monday, March 12, 2018, we expect that in the next adjournment, all stakeholders would be here. “We have to get to the root of this matter. We cannot conclude this investigation without hearing from the persons involved. We must bring all the culprits to book.”
The Committee also extended its summon to the former chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulraheed Maina, former members of the Task Force, the secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Eyo-Ita, former Head of Service, Stephen Orosanye, and the attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the inspector general of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC and all relevant stakeholders in the pension saga.