…PTAD settles entitlements of retirees from 8 defunct firms

BY VICTOR YOUNG

THE Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, has put smiles on the faces of retirees of no fewer than eight defunct Federal Government parastatals as part of the efforts to clear accumulated pensions and other benefits.

This came as the directorate has restored 4,069 out of 21,000 unverified pensioners dropped from the payroll in October 2020 with the attendant arrears paid.

Among the Federal Government parastatals that PTAD fully or partially settled the pension arrears and other benefits include Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO; Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON; Savannah Sugar Company; NICON Insurance; Delta Steel Company, DSC Limited; NITEL/MTEL; Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation; New Nigeria Newspaper Limited and Assurance Bank.

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The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, who disclosed this at the South-East Stakeholders’ Forum, in Enugu, Enugu State, noted that despite the COVID-19 lockdown, PTAD continued “to pay monthly pensions promptly, resolve complaints, cleared arrears, paid death benefits to some Next-Of-Kin and one-off payments of some defunct agencies such as NAHCO, ALSCON, as well as ex-workers of Savannah Sugar Company who have submitted themselves for verification.

“Most recently, on the 14th of December, 2021, PTAD completed the payment of all outstanding inherited liabilities due to ex-workers of two of the defunct agencies, namely: Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation (total 126 months of inherited liabilities completely liquidated) and New Nigeria Newspaper Limited (total 219 months of inherited liabilities completely liquidated). We also settled a significant portion of the outstanding inherited liabilities due to ex-workers of another three defunct agencies: NICON Insurance, Delta Steel Company Limited and NITEL/MTEL.

“Also in December 2021, we implemented the approved 9.7 per cent Pension Increment for pensioners of the defunct PHCN. This increment took effect from June 2016. The accrued arrears were paid along with the six months balance of the arrears as a result of the consequential adjustment to pensions. The total amount paid to this sector was N6.9 billion

“In the year 2020, I declared a state of emergency in the Civil Service Pensions Department and approved the commencement of an expanded re-validation and re-computation exercise in a bid to on-board verified pensioners not on payroll, clear all outstanding pension arrears and resolve all complaints of short payments and outstanding gratuities for the Civil Service Pensioners and their Next of Kin (NoK). At the end of the project, the Directorate was able to review, compute, re-compute and pay over seven billion naira, N7 billion, to over 24,000 pensioners. This computation exercise has been ongoing leading to the computation of a total of 25,950 files so far with total payment to date at N8.1 billion.

“The post-verification validation for the Parastatal Pension Department is ongoing. Over 21,000 unverified pensioners were dropped from the payroll in October 2020. So far, 4,069 of those dropped in October have been verified, restored to the payroll with the attendant arrears paid. The on-boarding of verified and not on payroll pensioners is ongoing. So far, 358 verified, not on payroll Parastatals pensioners have been brought on board.

“Some of the accrued and inherited arrears paid by the Directorate include: The clearing of the 33 per cent increment arrears owed pensioners in the Parastatals Pension Department in December 2019. Completion of the one-off payment to 603 verified ex-workers of the ALSCON. PTAD also completely made a one-off payment to 620 ex-workers of NAHCO. PTAD also added ex-workers of Assurance Bank to the payroll and paid their arrears. It also paid part of the arrears owed ex-workers of NITEL/MTEL and some Next-Of Kin.”

The ES added: “We have completed the payment of arrears accrued as a result of the consequential adjustment to pension as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to three out of the four operational departments. The Civil Service pensioners have three months of arrears left and we will clear that very soon.”

VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA

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