The National Pension Commission has cleared ambiguities stemming from misunderstanding of the difference between staff cost and staff salaries leading to the claim in traditional and social media that the least paid PenCom employee earns a salary of N3 million.
PenCom statement said this has fuelled all sorts of false allegations and unfair insinuations. The Commission clears “that the claim is absolutely false.” It further explains that “The highest paid official of the Commission earns less than ₦1 million a month. It is therefore completely illogical and improbable that the least paid will earn a monthly salary of ₦3 million.”
Getting to the source of the “mischief and possible blackmail” on the Commission’s compensation package; the self funded agency said, “it appears someone calculated all staff costs, including training, staff exit benefit scheme, and employer’s pension contribution, and divided the total by the number of the Commission’s employees and concluded that the least paid employee is on a monthly salary of ₦3 million. There is a clear difference between staff cost and staff salaries.”
Insisting it runs a transparent and accountable system, PenCom narrates that right from the inception of the Commission in 2004, the Federal Government mandated the Board to adopt an employee compensation policy that favourably compares to comparator government bodies in the financial services sector, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Section 25(2)(b) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 also empowers the Board of the Commission to fix the remuneration, allowances and benefits of the employees.
The Commission stated that its emolument is patterned after the private sector to attract and retain high-calibre professionals and is set on the recommendations of Presidential Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments in the public sector headed by the late Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of the Interim National Government. One of the recommendations was that the pay structure of self-funded agencies should be benchmarked with their private sector comparators so as to ensure relativity in such agencies and attract and retain high-calibre professionals.
Another recommendation of the Committee, which was set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, was that the pay structure of regulatory agencies should be benchmarked against sectors they monitor to avoid regulatory capture, and that an annual increase in pay should be undertaken to account for inflation/cost of living adjustment and establishments may strive to attain 50th percentile and above their comparators in the private sector.
“We made all these facts known in a recently submission to the House of Representatives Committee on Finance over the compensation package of the Commission. We also stated that the last compensation package review was done in 2017 with the approval of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). No review has been done in the last five years and this has affected the ability of the Commission to attract, hire and retain staff with competitive skills.” the statement cleared.