PenCom: Senate justifies lowering of years of experience
The Senate yesterday passed the Pension Reform Bill 2013 in which it lowered the years of experience required for a Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) from 20 to 15 years.
Senators had last week begun consideration of the report of the committee on Establishment and Public Service matters which recommended lowering the bar for the post of PenCom DG thereby paving the way for the acting DG Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu to be appointed as substantive DG.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the red chamber passed the bill, committee chairman Senator Aloysius Etok (PDP, Akwa Ibom) whose committee made the recommendations said they lowered the bar because the committee had the powers to do so.
“If you are talking about post qualification experiences what about somebody who has 30 years post qualification experience with two years cognate pension experience. Is he better than someone with 10 years cognate experience in pension administration?” Senator Etok asked.
According to him, it was not proper for any law to exclude young people from attaining any height in their professional career by stipulating 20 years of experience for PenCom DG’s position.
The bill also prescribes a 10 year jail term for anyone who misappropriate pension fund apart from refunding three times, the amount embezzled.
It also stipulates that whoever that attempts to misappropriate the fund, on conviction, will be liable to the same punishment as it is prescribed for the full offence in the act.