PENCOM Boss Wades In On Protest, Non-admittance Of 42 Recruited Staff

The National Pension Commission (PENCOM) says the 42 recruited staff members who were not admitted by the commission in 2017, failed to comply with the Federal Character Commission’s laws.

Speaking on a recent protest at the PENCOM head office in Abuja, the Acting Director General, pointed out that the previous administration had failed to fully comply with the rules of the Federal Character Commission during the recruitment process, thereby prompting the commission to stop the exercise.

Dahir-Umar explained that for recruitment process to be fair, the commission has to collect compliance certificates also known as “no objections” from the Federal Character Commission.

According to her, the certificates are to be collected twice, first at the point of initial recruitment granting permission to hold tests or interviews and again when letters of employment are to be served.

She further explained that the previous administration had violated the Federal Character Commission laws by going against the original compliance certificate which stated that only 16 applicants be recruited by recruiting 42, and secondly by handing out letters of employment without receiving permission in form of the no objection certificate from the Federal Character Commission.

This, she said, led the Federal Character Commission to submit the case to the National Assembly and further actions were set in motion to halt the entire process.

On why the breach occurred, Dahir-Umar stated that at the time she headed another department, and had only resumed as Acting Director General in April 2017.

She also dismissed insinuations that the board was involved in the recruitment exercise, saying the exercise was an entry level recruitment, and the board gets involved in only top level managerial recruitment.

On Wednesday, police officers were forced to intervene after aggrieved protesters blocked the entrance of the commission.

Speaking on the protest, Dahir-Umar described the protesters as miscreants who had been financially manipulated into protesting, noting that the real recruits affected had a credible union, of which she was in contact with its president.

She also mentioned that while the commission has been mandated to cancel the whole exercise, they were holding out to see if a solution can be reached as the plight of the recruits was being taken into full consideration.

On the way forward, Dahir-Umar called on the recruits to exercise patience as the commission is still looking for ways to resolve the situation.

“They have petitioned the Secretary General of the federation and other agencies on this issue, but they need to exercise more patience. Pencom gave them letters to resume, but at this point, it is beyond us,” she said.

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