By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has warned against plans by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, to remove 23,089 parastatals pensioners from the Federal Government’s payroll, faulting claims by PTAD that they are dead.
NUP, in a letter to the Executive Secretary, PTAD, contended that it is “glaringly impossible for a whopping 23,089 pensioners on the list to have died,” urging PTAD to be cautious.
The union insisted that it believed that not all 23,089 on the list were dead, and that some might be sick or did not attend the verification exercise earlier conducted by PTAD.
Recall that PTAD had decided to remove names of 23,089 pensioners from its pension payroll, with effect from August pension payment.
The directorate had, in an earlier letter written to the President of NUP, intimate it of the Federal Government’s decision to remove the names of the 23,089 pensioners from the payroll.
PTAD said it took the decision following the “review and analysis” of the field verification exercise it carried out for pensioners between April and November 2019, as well a follow-up exercise held at the PTAD headquarters in Abuja and Lagos Liaison Office until the lockdown.
However, in a letter dated August 11, 2020, NUP said it was shocked at the staggering figure of 23,089 pensioners about to be yanked off the payroll for various reasons.
It warned PTAD to check its facts and records very well to avoid the outrage that may follow if done haphazardly.
NUP demanded that PTAD should, among other measures to be taken before such decision is implemented, publish all the names in at least three national newspapers to create necessary awareness at home and abroad for the pensioners involved.
The letter, sighted by Vanguard entitled: “Re: Removal of parastatals pensioners that did not undergo verification from the directorate’s pension payroll,” was signed by NUP’s General Secretary, Elder Actor Zal.
The letter read in part: “We would like to appreciate the painstaking efforts of PTAD in carrying out the last parastatals pensioners’ verification through the length and breadth of the country.
“The thoroughness and professionalism of your staff needed to be applauded and commended as well.
“However, the union was shocked at the staggering figure of 23,089 pensioners about to be yanked off the payroll for various reasons.
“While we will not support continued payment of monthly pension to those pensioners who did not undergo verification, we are, however, of the firm belief that not all the entire 23,089 pensioners on the attached list are dead, sick or even did not attend the aforesaid verification.
“It is glaringly impossible.
“Therefore, we want to seriously appeal that you painstakingly crosscheck your facts and records very well and be double sure of the names involved before removing them finally from the payroll.”