Stories by Ebere Nwoji
The Federal University Pensioners Association (FUPA) is demanding for a clarification on the balance of 33 per cent pension arrears for its members.
FUPA is also demanding to ascertain the state of plans for a National Health insurance for pensioners as well as the outcome of the nationwide parastatals pensioners’ verification, among others.
FUPA National President, Dr. Ayuba Kura, said this during a meeting with the national executives of FUPA and the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Dr. Chioma.N. Ejikeme, held in Abuja recently.
According to Kura, the meeting was, to among other things, to also get clarification on pension percentage increase in line with the approved new minimum wage.
In her response, the PTAD Executive Secretary, reiterated the directorate’s readiness to continue to engage the association with a view to enhancing the welfare of the senior citizens.
She reassured them that PTAD is a 100 percent TSA compliant agency which means the manual processing of pension payments has been removed such that staff of PTAD do not have access to their funds.
“Pension payments are made from PTAD TSA accounts at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directly to the pensioners’ accounts through their banks.
The PTAD boss, further assured that on the issues they raised, including the balance of the 33percent pension arrears and the pension percentage increase in line with the approved new minimum wage, PTAD was in talks with relevant agencies to make sure they are addressed as soon as possible.
With regards to the outcome of the Parastatals pensioners verification, she said the agency was fine-tuning its model and strategy for the smooth implementation of the exercise which will be in phases.
According to her, the data collated during the exercise would also ensure that only qualified, biometrically verified pensioners are on the federal government/PTAD database and payroll system when plans are concluded to commence the National Health Insurance for pensioners.
She informed the association that pensioners who missed the general verification exercise could be verified at PTAD Headquarters in Abuja or the Lagos Zonal Office, adding that mobile verification is also available for pensioners who are too old or sick to come out for the general verification.
She informed further that there is a register to collate details of pensioners in diaspora pending when they return to Nigeria for their verification.
The PTAD boss, also spoke about the recent BVN revalidation exercise conducted in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), saying the exercise was to remove pensioners from the payroll if their account is not NUBAN or the bank does not exist, continuous failed payment from August 2019 to October 2019, duplicate BVN or no BVN, adding that this culminated in the removal of some pensioners from the Parastatals Pension Department payroll effective November 2019. She encouraged FUPA to notify affected senior citizens so that they can contact PTAD for their BVN update.
She informed the university pensioners that PTAD will never request or accept gratification to process their pension payment and asked them to report anyone suspected to be a fraudster.