NATIONAL Pension Commission, PenCom, has sent debt recovery agents after management of media houses and other companies who have continued to breach the Pension Reform Act, PRA, 2004 by failing to remit deducted pension fund and have continued to incur high debt profile.
Responding to concerns raised by stakeholders at 2012 National Workshop organized by PenCom, for Business Editor, Labour, Finance and Labour Correspondents, in Abuja, . Farouk Aminu, the commission’s Head of Research and Corporate Strategy, dismissed insinuations that the commission was shying away from confronting media houses over non-compliance as required by law, saying “It is not like we are avoiding totackle the issue of noncompliance with the media houses and others.”
According to Dr. Aminu “If you remember in our last conference, we told you the media houses that were not complying as at that time. After that time, we sent our staff to the affected media houses to evaluate the level of noncompliance. After the report of that examination, we wrote to the media houses and demanded that they comply. Some have actually responded and even made proposal on how they would pay the outstanding payment over a period of time.
If you look at our sanction regime, there are different levels of enforcing compliance. Like we had explained, the sanction level would start with engagement, and with consistent noncompliance, after other strategies, we could resort to legal action.”
“ We use naming and shaming, monetary sanction and today, we have reached the level of appointing and assigning recovery agents to specific employer. That follows the systematic approach. It is not sensational and you get the desired objective. In that context, the media houses are not going to be treated differently.
They will be treated as part of noncompliant employers if they happen to be so. Among the 15000 or more employers that we have assigned, some media houses are part of it.
The recovery agents were mandated to start from 2005. It means they are expected to handle of noncompliance from 2005 to date. So, we are very systematic in term of how we approach the issue of enforcement of noncompliance. We try to be as consistent as possible in all the sectors including the media “