Senate confirms Dahir-Umar as PENCOM DG amidst protests

The Senate  Tuesday, confirmed the appointment  of Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar as Director General (DG) of National Pension Commission (PENCOM) as requested for by President Muhamnadu Buhari.
Other nominees confirmed are: Dr. Oyindasola Oluremi Oni (North Central) chairman; Clement Oyedele Akintola (South West) Commissioner; Ayim C. Nyerere (South East), Commissioner and Charles Efe Sylvester Emukowhale (South South) Commissioner. 

It  however stepped down the confirmation of Hannatu Musa (North West), Commissioner, for failing to submit her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate. 
Their confirmation followed the consideration of the report of Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters, chaired by Senator Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano Central). 

The committee said the nominees possessed the requisite qualifications for the PENCOM job and therefore recommended their confirmation. 
However, before the nominees were confirmed, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe ( PDP Abia South), protested against the confirmation of Dahir-Umar by  urging  the upper legislative chamber  to revisit the controversy surrounding her nomination. 

Umar, from the northeast, has been serving as DG of the agency in acting capacity. 
Abaribe  had earlier said Dahir-Umar’s nomination to replace the former Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu from Southeast was in breach of the Act establishing PENCOM. 
He accordingly  petitioned the screening panel last week by asking it to stop action that could lead to the clearance of Dahir-Umar as DG of the agency.

Abaribe cited section 20 (1) and section 21 (1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, which state that, “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint a replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure”. 
He said the President has the right to appoint whoever he wills to occupy positions but such appointment should be done within the law.
But in his response,  the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the section of the PENCOM Act cited by Abaribe did not apply to the current nominees. 
He told Abaribe that there was no basis for his argument because the tenure of the board had lapsed before another nomination was made.

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