Segun Awofadeji in Gombe
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has commenced verification exercise of over 900 former employees of NITEL and MTEL for clearance of their pension arrears.
The management of PTAD disclosed this in a statement made available to Journalists on Saturday at the FCE (T) Gombe, venue of the verification exercise.
One of the technical hands, Segun Oke of the NITEL Pensioner Association told journalists that the directorate received authority to gather relevant information on the nature and status of outstanding pension liabilities of the pensioners from the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).
He said the verification which commenced on January 15, would be done simultaneously in seven centres of Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Kano, Gombe, Abuja, Lagos I and Lagos II for eight days at each centre.
According to the documents presented to journalists, the verification exercise would go through some processes and auditing at various levels before payments would be made.
Pensioners are expected to come with all items specified in media advertorials. Next of kin members are also expected to come with documents specified in the adverts. The directorate had collected phone numbers and contacts of sick pensioners and mobile verification would be done for them by going to wherever they are to capture them.
Some of the pensioners who spoke to journalists commended the Federal Government for taking step to clear their retirement and pension benefits like other retired civil servants in the country.
Mr. Magnus Umaru Babasanda from Borno State who served as chief security officer in charge of the North-East zone of NITEL said they have long waited for their retirement benefits with many of them already losing hope.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Gombe State Pension Bureau, Hajiya Zainab Idris Haruna commended the officials of PTAD for organising the exercise in an orderly manner.
She said, â€œI am happy to see pensioners responding to the exercise, I was here on Monday and today, pensioners have been cooperative. I hope that at the end of the verification, pensioners will get their benefits so that their tension will cool downâ€.