- Monthly pension liabilities under defined benefit scheme hits N16bn
- Recovers N2.4bn from MDAs
By James Emejo in Abuja
The acting Director General/Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mr. Murtala Musa Oluwatoyin, has said the agency has now created a credible data base with proper records that have allowed for genuine and regular payment of pensions to beneficiaries without hitches.
He said he had inherited inaccurate date a base of pensioners, despite the several verification exercises which took place in the past, a situation which had led to the closure of about 800 accounts which had also been forwarded to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for proper investigation.
He added that the lack of proper records had given room to some irregularities whereby contracts that were hitherto awarded were never executed.
Speaking to THISDAY in Abuja at the weekend, he said duplicate payments and ghost pensioners had been eliminated while anomalies of over payments had been regularised with updated records of Next Of Kin (NOK).
He said a fresh verification of the police, customs, immigration and prison pensioners revealed 3,000 ‘bogus’ names which had since been removed from the payroll, saving the federal government about N100 million in fraudulent monthly pension.
He said the agency had also created channels to seamlessly address pensioners’ complaints through text message with almost an immediate response to issues.
The federal government had in March suspended the former PTAD boss, Nellie Mayshak, over allegations of unwholesome financial under-dealings.
A prima-facie case was established against her and forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution. The report on her investigation is however, still being awaited.
Nevertheless, Oluwatoyin, who is a director in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation was consequently seconded to oversee the affairs of PTAD until a substantive DG is appointed.
He, further disclosed that monthly pension liability under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) or those who are not covered under the contributory pension scheme (CPS) stood at about N16 billion.
He said inadequate funding remained a major challenge to the DBS.
The acting PTAD boss identified some of his achievements to include regular and prompt monthly pension payments and payment of 12 months of the outstanding 42 months of the 33 per cent pension arrears to all categories of pensioners except for the paramilitary pensioner who have received their full payment of 42months of the 33 per cent arrears.
He said the sum of N2.4 billion had since been recovered from 18 sister agencies and transferred to PTAD’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He added that the age y had successfully verified and paid N1.58 billion in death benefits to 891 NOKs under the phase one of the parastatals verification exercise as well as completed the quality assurance exercise on 17,974 verified police pensioners’ files among other achievements since he assumed office.
He said: “We pay pension now at the same time we pay salaries; here they receive their pensions same time as salary earners receive- and that’s an improvement I have made so far as regards those who are regular on our pay role. For those who are not, we’ve been addressing issues and bringing them on board.”