The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) said Thursday that it has paid N610 billion to pensioners in the country.
Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, said this in Abuja at the weekly briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.
She said PTAD made the payment inline with its mandate, stressing that the payments were made between 2015 and 2021.
“We have ensured regular monthly payment of pensions without failure as and when due and from January 2015 to December 2021, we have paid a total of N610 billion in pensions to Nigerian Defined Benefit Scheme pensioners under PTAD,” she said.
She said the introduction and full implementation of the Treasury Single Account by the government has helped PTAD to achieve a lot.
“President Buhari’s administration has made pension an unwritten first line charge. In the 1979 constitution, pension was a first line charge but when the constitution was amended in 1999, it was removed as a first line charge. So, President Buhari has now made it a first line charge because we make sure that pensions are paid even before salaries.
“Because of his support we have been able to achieve the following; the first thing is the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account, pension funds are no longer domiciled in commercial bank accounts, they are now with the TSA, in the Central Bank. So that is a big plus in pension management,” she said.
She said members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) are happy with President Muhammadu Buhari for spearheading the revolution in the new pension management scheme.
She said under the current dispensation, PTAD has been able to pay N39 billion as arrears of pensions to former employees of defunct or privatized public agencies.
“PTAD has also been able to pay long standing arrears to pensioners inherited from the defunct/privatized agencies. We have completed the one-off payment for the Aluminium Smelter Company with 131 pensioners, We have completed the one-off payment for Savannah Sugar Company with 1596 pensioners, we have completely liquidated the arrears of 92 months for 522 pensioners of the Nigeria National Shipping Line, we have completed the 69 months arrears payment for Assurance Bank, 251 pensioners.
“We have completed the 126 months of arrears we inherited for Nigerian Reinsurance, 287 pensioners, we have completed the arrears of 219 months we inherited for New Nigeria Newspapers, 509 of them, we just last month completed the arrears of 100 we inherited for NICON Insurance and now only have NITEL/MTEL arrears to complete. We inherited 84 months of arrears, we have 21 months till date and we have a balance of 63 months but just yesterday we settled 15 months for 5010 pensioners and in the next one or two weeks we will pay another 15 months and that will bring their down the arrears for NITEL/MTEL to 48 months,” she said.
She said PTAD has changed the narrative of pension administration in the country by introducing new innovations, leading to a lot of successes.
“We have intentionally been changing the narrative as far as pension administration is concerned in Nigeria. We have been able to introduce biometric verification of pensioners through field verification exercises across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“As a result of that we have been able to build from scratch, a digitized, centralized, comprehensive and credible database of pensioners, we have introduced an automated computation of pension benefits, we have been able to do due diligence of payroll and payments,” she said.