Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Senate Vows To Pursue Pension Probe To Logical Conclusion

The Senate on Monday in Abuja pledged its determination to ensure that the investigation into pension administration was pursued to a logical conclusion.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs Enyinnaya Abaribe made the pledge while briefing newsmen on issues of focus for the Senate when it resumes from end of year break on Jan. 16.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Joint Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Administration had been saddled with the assignment.

The investigation, however, suffered a setback following the inability of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) to honour the committee’s summons over alleged N195 billion pension scam.

Abaribe said that every committee of the Senate was representative of the Senate and any decisions emanating from a committee carried the approval of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.

He said that contrary to insinuations, the Senate would not leave anything to chance in its avowed determination to bring the pension probe to a logical conclusion.

“The rule is that every committee is a representation of the Senate as a whole. That means that if a committee of the Senate is operating or is summoning anybody, it’s not just that committee it is the whole Senate.

“That means that whatever sanctions that are going to come are not sanctions that will come from just that committee, but sanctions that will come from the whole Senate.

“On the matter of Maina, let me state unequivocally that the Senate cannot be said to be helpless in the matter. On the contrary, the Senate will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion,'' he said.

The Senate spokesman urged the Presidency to take a critical look at the House of Representatives' insistence not to pass the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 2013 budget until the Director-General, Ms Arume Oteh is sacked.

He advised appointees of the President to avoid any situation that was capable of creating disaffection between the executive and the legislative arms of government.

“Beyond that we also feel in the Senate that anybody that works for Mr President should as much as possible not put Mr President at loggerheads with the parliament.

“I don’t think there is any individual that is far more important to the country than the rest of us.

“The House of Representatives and the Senate are representatives of the people and whenever they collectively take a position you have to assume that the position is in the best interest of the nation,'' Abaribe said.

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