THE Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has identified not fewer than 21,227 unverified pensioners of parastatals and has threatened to remove them from the payroll with effect from October.
The purported pensioners are in the directorate’s payroll and have failed to present themselves for verification.
Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme said the affected parastatal pensioners were those who did not turn up for the Directorate’s 2019 Parastatal Pensions Department (PaPD) nationwide and in-house verification exercises.
She said the list of the affected pensioners had been forwarded to the Pension Unions, Associations, and agencies as well as institutes since July 2020 for dissemination and sensitisation of their members and to give a feedback to the directorate.
According to her, “they neither submitted documentary request for mobile verification nor registered as Diaspora Pensioners”.
She said in 2019, a well-publicised PaPD verification exercise for all federally funded parastatals, agencies and institutes under the Defined Benefit Scheme was conducted throughout the six geo-political zones of the country, including Abuja.
In each zone, including Lagos and Abuja, conducive centres located at strategic and accessible locations were provided to carry out the exercise for an average period of two weeks.
A total of 32 centres were provided for the exercise which ran from April to November, 2019.
Ejikeme explained that during the programme that lasted for many months, the National Assembly, especially House Committee on Pension and Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service provided legislative oversight support throughout the exercise.
She added that pension unions were also part of the stakeholders that mobilised and monitored their members for the exercise, with government’s anti-corruption agencies such as Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Service (DSS) and Police Force were on ground to monitor and provide support for the exercise.
Ejikeme said at the end of the verification exercise, that a total of 76,064 parastatals pensioners were verified and documented.
“In addition, the directorate organised a further mop-up verification exercise, through continuous In-house verification for those that could not be verified during the field exercise in PTAD offices in Lagos and headquarters, Abuja where a 3,150 additional pensioners were verified and documented.
“Documented Diaspora Pensioners and Pensioners who requested for mobile verification but have not yet been verified have also been added to the documented pensioners pending when it would be convenient for them to be verified.
“After one year of the completion of the exercise, it is logical to remove those who could not be verified and documented in order for the Directorate to maintain a credible payroll.
“A total of 21,227 names are to be removed from the payroll with effect from October 2020.
“However, in view of the COVID-19 lockdown, PTAD has released some guidelines which bona fide pensioners among the identified 21,227 pensioners with authentic documents should follow to ensure that their names are not removed from the payroll.
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