Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Wednesday said a sum of N96 billion was paid to pensioners under the old Defined Benefit Pension Schemes, between July 2019 to August 2020.
While adding that, 244,643 pensioners received N77 billion as monthly pensions as of July 2020, with 87,842 pensioners paid arrears and gratuities of over N19billion.
Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, who disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja, during a press conference, added that over N670 million was paid to 418 Next of Kins of deceased pensioners.
According to her, “Between July 2019 and August 2020, PTAD paid a total of over N96 billion Naira across all the Operational Departments. The sum of over N77 billion was paid as monthly pensions payments to 244,643 pensioners as of July 2020. 87,842 pensioners were paid arrears and gratuities of over N19billion.
“The sum of over 670 million was paid to 418 Next of Kins of deceased pensioners. The above payments include the balance of 33 percent arrears for the Parastatal Pensioners which had been outstanding since 2010 and were fully paid to the Pensioners and NoKs in November/December 2019.
“The Directorate made payments in December 2019 as well as in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020. This payment was made to various groups of pensioners to reduce the inherited liabilities from the News Nigeria Newspapers, NICON insurance, Nig-Reinsurance, Delta Steel Company, NITEL, and NAHCO.”
She explained that asides the completion of the nationwide verification exercise for the Parastatal Pensioners (PaPD) and continuous verification, it has ensured the regular payment of monthly pension benefits to pensioners across the four (4) Operational Departments – Police, Customs, Immigration and Prisons, Civil Service and the Boards of Trustees of Parastatals and Agencies.
“Following the successful conclusion of the nation-wide Parastatals pensioners’ verification exercise in November 2019 and mop up exercise through the in-house verification for those that missed the field exercise, a total of 21,227 pensioners on the payroll were found to have not been verified.
“PTAD has sent the list of these pensioners to the Pension Unions/Associations/Agencies and the information is also on the PTAD website to enable pensioners who are on the list and alive to make themselves available for verification. Deceased pensioners and unresponsive pensioners on the list will be removed from the payroll from October 2020.
“In 2019, PTAD collaborated with Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) on Bank Verification Number (BVN) Authentication. The NlBSS BVN validation exercise led to the suspension of 5,834 pensioners from the payroll. However, 2,416 of those removed have been restored after undergoing positive review and validation,” Ejikeme added.
The agency however said it is working assiduously to recover legacy funds and assets in the custody of 12 insurance underwriters belonging to the defunct Agencies, who were before now responsible for the pension payments to Federal Government Parastatals and the universities.
She said, “Out of the 12 Insurance Underwriters identified by the Directorate who are in the custody of legacy funds and assets, the Directorate has filed an action under the undefended list procedure for the recovery of legacy funds and assets against Four (4) Insurance Underwriters namely: Goldlink Insurance Plc, UNIC Insurance Plc, Standard Alliance Life Insurance Plc, and Niger Insurance Plc. Two (2) out of the Four (4) cases have been decided in favour of the Directorate.
“The Federal High Court, Lagos gave judgment in the case against Goldlink Insurance PLO in favour of PTAD to the tune of N1, 238,234,383.96 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Thirty -Eight Million, Two Hundred and Thirty-Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-Three Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo) being the outstanding balance of the Federal Government Legacy Funds and Assets in the custody of the Defendant with 10 percent post-judgment interest until the judgment sum is fully liquidated.
“Also, on the 2nd day of April 2019, the Federal High Court, Lagos entered judgment in favour of the Directorate in the sum of N829, 788, 380.19 (Eight Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty Naira, Nineteen Kobo) being the outstanding balance of the Federal Government Legacy Funds and Assets in the custody of UNIC Insurance company.”