Ghost Pensioners; PTAD verifies about 4,000 in Kaduna
By; ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR, Kaduna.
To weed out ghost pensioners from the Federal Government pension scheme, Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has commenced the verification of about 40, 000 federal pensioners in Kaduna.
Speaking at the venue of the exercise in Kaduna, a staff of PTAD said the objective of the verification is to establish a credible, authentic and digitalized database of pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), eliminate duplicate payments and ghost workers, regularize anomalies such as over payments and under payments, and to update the records of the Next Of Kin (NOK) of late pensioners.
The verification exercise started on Monday November 2, 2015 with pensioners in the North West Zone of the country comprising Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna and Zamfara States. The North West Zone verification exercise which will end on November 14, 2015, will be closely followed by the South East Zone of Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo states from November 30 – December 12, 2015.
Verification exercise for the North East, South West, South South and North Central will hold in the first quarter of 2016.
PTAD is as a Directorate under the Federal Ministry of Finance established in August 2013 in compliance with the provisions of section 30 sub-section (2) (a) of the Pension Reform Act of 2004 and as restated in section 42(1) of the amended act of 2014 to manage the old pension scheme (Defined Benefit Schemes –DBS) for pensioners who retired on or before June 2007 and did not transit to the new contributory Scheme.
PTAD is made up of the four pension offices; The Civil Service Pension, The Police Pension, The Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension, and The Treasury Funded Parastatals Pension.
The verification of all pensioners commenced in 2014. The first group to be verified was the Police Pensioners from December 2014 to May, 2015, followed by the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensioners, Parastatal Pensioners from July to August 2015.
PTAD said with the successful completion of the nationwide biometric verification of Police, Customs, Immigration and Prison Pensioners, PTAD was able to identify and removed over 3,000 bogus names from the payroll. This it said has in effect, saved the Federal Government about N100 Million monthly in fraudulent pension payments.
It also restore monthly pension payments to genuine pensioners previously removed from the payroll, including 750 Pensioners (made up of 529 regular police retirees and 221 Next of Kin (NOKs) who had never been paid any pension or gratuity, some for over 10 years after retirement.
it stressed that the continuous database clean-up process also ensures that pensioners who were not receiving their pensions prior to the establishment of PTAD, can now be paid as every kobo saved is ploughed back into the system.
Some of the retirees who spoke to New Nigerian at Police Officers Mess, Independence Way, Kaduna, the venue of the exercise, expressed satisfaction with the process. PTAD deployed thirty Biometric Capturing Machines for the exercise which pensioners said fastens the process.