By James Emejo in Abuja
The newly appointed Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD), Sharon Ikeazor has vowed to enthrone a regime of zero tolerance for corruption in the agency.
She said though the agency had been burdened by various challenges in the past, every staff member and stakeholder must help put measures in place to turn things around and ensure PTAD’s targets are realised.
She said while the primary duty of the agency was to ensure timely payment of benefits and other entitlements, as and when due, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), the inadequate and untimely release of funds had often resulted in delays and accumulated arrears of pension rights.
The new PTAD boss also expressed regret that retirees had lost their lives as a result of delays of pension payment for months-even years.
In her acceptance speech, however, Ikeazor said to carry out its responsibility diligently, the agency will be equipped and enabled to expeditiously update and populate it’s database through verification and effective management of pension records.
She also promised to establish a regime of efficient pensions and gratuities administration and payments.
She expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity given her to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of Nigerians who have arduously served their country with dedication over the decades.
She said:” No pension or retiree, after serving their fatherland should ever be forced into the indignity and painful uncertainty of delayed pensions.
“We owe them that, from the most junior rank to the highest rank. No one should ever be left behind. Pension payment shall be a pleasure rather than a pain.”
Earlier, the elstwhile acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Murtala Musa Oluwatoyin during his handover remarks said there are several issues in the civil service pension which needed to be tackled by his successor.
He commended the staff for their cooperation while he superintended over the affairs of the agency in the past nine months.
He said the prompt payment of monthly pension and payment of 12 months arrears out of the 42 months outstanding of 33 percent arrears have won back confidence of pensioners in PTAD.
According to him, staff attitude and that of the regulator-PenCom had been positive.