Enugu – Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, the Executive Secretary, Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), says it is partnering agencies responsible for fighting financial crime to reduce fraud in pensions payment.
Ikeazor disclosed this during PTAD 2018 Stakeholders’ Forum on Monday in Enugu.
She said that the agencies involved in the partnership are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
The executive scribe said that the financial crime agencies played very important roles in the fight to ensure that pensions’ administrators did not revert to its previous state, riddled with allegations of corruption and fraud.
She noted that PTAD had undertaken many impactful reforms that had strengthened the management of pensions under the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS).
Ikeazor pointed out that the directorate had been able to offset some of the arrears from all the pensions departments, saying that computation of verified pensioners was still ongoing as the more qualified ones would be pay rolled.
Mr Jafar Ishiaku, the Federal Auditor, PTAD, said that the credible database being built by the directorate was to avoid fraudulent acts and ghost pensioners in the payroll.
Ishiaku said that 24, 000 pensioners were dropped due to problems such as inability of pensioners to come for verification, wrong capturing of bank account numbers among others.
Mr Jibril Idris, the Assistant Director, Administration, PTAD, said that the Parastatals Pensions Department, currently, had 103,170 pensioners on its payroll.
Idris said that these pensioners were spread across 265 agencies with a monthly pension payment of about N4.2 billion.
He said that the agencies were grouped into six sectors, adding that some of the sectors are Health, Power, Transport, Education and Research Institutes.
Idris disclosed that the directorate had conducted verification and computed the benefits of seven defunct agencies.
According to him, the agencies include: the Nigerian Telecommunication Ltd. (NITEL), NICON, New Nigerian Newspaper (NNN), Delta Steel Company (DSC), Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA-Civilian), Nigeria-Re and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
Five of these agencies, Idris said, had been placed on the payroll while NNN and NITEL are still being worked on.
Also speaking at the forum, Mr Livinus Asiegbu, the South-East Secretary, National Union of Pensioners, called on the PTAD to assist retired primary school teachers, who had not received their pensions from 1990 till date.
Asiegbu appealed that the primary school teachers should be placed under PTAD so as to get their pensions paid as and at when due.