Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, has said that, about 150,000 retirees from the Federal Civil Service will be verified across the country, in its ongoing screening exercise after the one carried out in the North East Zone.
The Executive Secretary, Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor disclosed this during the inspection of a similar exercise conducted by the directorate in Uyo last Wednesday.
She said, about 10,000 federal and States pensioners with the federal share are expected to be verified in the South-South alone, while collaborating with the Nigeria Union of Pensioners’, NUP, to ensure that nobody is left out of the exercise across the country.
According to her, ‘‘those that are being verified are federal and states pensioners with federal share and, we are expecting close to 10,000 to be verified.
‘‘We are working closely with the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, and its president, Dr Abel Afolayan is here beside me. As our partnership goes, they help us reach out to the pensioners we can reach out to because, we understand there are those who are ill and cannot be here for the exercise.
‘‘So, it is the NUP that notifies us of the sick ones and we conduct mobile verifications by going to them in the hospitals and verify them’’.
On why the previous verification exercises had not come out with tangible outcomes, she explained that, with PTAD as a government agency under the federal ministry of finance, established in 2014 due to the plethora of complaints and mismanagement of pensions in Nigeria, such issues would be a thing of the past, as pensioners would be assured of the entitlements after they are verified and payrolled in the agency’s data base.
She said, there was need for the exercise to determine government’s liability so that, the right pensioners would be put on the payroll adding that, when the directorate was set up, they inherited non verifiable data base that made it impossible for pensions to be paid.
With this she said, the directorate was cleaning out the data base so that, those who are meant to receive pensions would receive it, while those who are not meant to receive would be taken off the payroll or data base maintaining that, before now, lots of monies for pensions were being paid into some bank accounts with no Bank Verification Numbers, BVN, and that on completion of the exercise, pensioners would be getting their monies within 3 to 4 months without unnecessarily being kept waiting for their money a long time.
Also speaking, the National President of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Dr Abel Afolayan commended PTAD for the exercise saying that, it was the best thing that has happened to the pensioners.
He said, the challenges with pension was lack of data base to work with and that, with the initiative of the Executive Secretary, Barrister Ikeazor, all the problems of pensioners across the country would be addressed.