By James Emejo
The Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, Wednesday said a total sum of N96 billion had been disbursed to pensioners between July 2019 and August 2020 under the old Defined Benefit Pension schemes.
She added that over N77 billion was paid as monthly pensions to 244,643 pensioners as at July, while 87,842 pensioners were paid arrears and gratuities of over N19 billion.
Speaking at a press briefing to commemorate her one year in office, the PTAD boss also stated that N670 million had been paid to 418 ext of kins (NoKs) of deceased pensioners.
She said the payments included the balance of 33 per cent arrears for the parastatal pensioners, which had been outstanding since 2010, and was fully paid to the beneficiaries and NoKs in November/December 2019.
Ejikeme was appointed the executive secretary in August 2019 following the appointment of Sharon Ikeazor, the former executive secretary as a Minister of State for Environment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said her predecessor had laid a “solid foundation upon which we have been building a super structure and will continue to build”.
She said notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, PTAD has within a year, brought smiles to the faces of pensioners and Noks, adding that: “We have sustained and initiated reforms that have strengthened the administration of the Defined Benefit Scheme in the country.”
She added that the directorate made payments in December 2019, as well as in the second and third quarters of the year to various groups of pensioners to reduce the inherited liabilities.
The executive secretary also disclosed that the sum of N44 billion worth of pension assets were currently trapped with 12 insurance underwriters, adding that legal actions had been initiated to aid recoveries.
She said the directorate had filed an action under the undefended list procedure for the recovery of legacy funds and assets against four underwriters namely Goldlink Insurance Plc, Unic Insurance Plc, Standard Alliance Life Insurance Plc and Niger Insurance Plc, adding that two out of the cases had been decided in favour of PTAD.
She added: “PTAD is working assiduously on the recovery of legacy funds and assets in the custody of 12 insurance underwriters belonging to the defunct agencies. They were previously responsible for the pension payments to federal government parastatals and the universities.”
She however listed the key activities of the directorate over the past one year to include the completion of the nationwide verification exercise for the parastatal pensioners (PaPD) and continuous verification conducted mainly in the Lagos and Abuja offices and other eight state offices, computation of pensioners benefits, continuous computation of monthly pension payment and restoration of pensioners hitherto not on payroll to monthly pension payroll as well as monthly pension adjustments including overpayments and underpayments.
Others include payment of arrears to pensioners on the payroll, review, computation and payment of death benefits to NoKs, as well as complaints resolution, among others.