Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
In its effort to correct observed anomalies as well as streamline the payment of pension and gratuity, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has commenced a nationwide verification of pensioner under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) towards maintaining a comprehensive database of pensioners in its jurisdiction.
To this end, about 4,192 federal government parastatals, agencies and other institutions’ pensioners under the DBS in the North-east region are expected to be verified in the fourth and last batch of the pensioners.
The Project Manager for the Parastatals Pensioners Exercise, Kabiru Yusuf, who spoke to THISDAY during the exercise Thursday, emphasised that the purpose of the verification exercise was to establish an accurate, credible and digitised database of pensioners under the DBS, adding that the verification exercise currently going on covers retirees from the civil service in all the six geo-political zones of the country.
Yusuf, who is also the Director of Pension Support Services Department (PSSD), said adequate arrangement had been made to ensure a smooth exercise in the Northeast, explaining that each of the centres designated in Yola, Bauchi and Maiduguri was expected to verify about 300 pensioners daily.
According to him, “The verification exercise is for the federal government workers that were not captured under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CBS), and we are doing this to regularise anomalies such as overpayments and underpayments.
“Another reason for embarking on this exercise is to eliminate duplicate payments and ghost pensioners as well as updating the records of the Next of Kin (NoK) for the payment of benefit and entitlement.”
Also speaking, the Head of Corporate Communication of PTAD, Olugbenga Ajayi, said mobile verification would be conducted for the ailing pensioners, but however noted that “the original documents of the pensioner must be brought to the verification venue together with proof of infirmity for authentication before mobile verification can be scheduled.”
He added: “We are working round the clock to finalise the verification to enable PTAD create a permanent database of their records and ensure that pensioners are not asked to come out again for such a detailed exercise.”
Ajayi then appealed to pensioners “that they do not have to travel to the state they retired from to be verified. They can be verified at any of the centres in the geo-political zones where they currently reside.
“Let me tell you that right now, we are paying over N5 billion monthly as pensions for parastatals alone, and this excludes miniseries which are under civil service department. Also, please note that we also have the police, the Customs, the Immigration and Prisons workers’ pensions among others.”