HEARTLESS- 15000 Pensioners Deprived of benefits because of “BVN”

Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), on Tuesday said the directorate had suspended 15,600 pensioners from its payroll for lack of Bank verification Number (BVN).

Ikeazor said this while addressing newsmen after a meeting with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora (SSAPFAD), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa in Abuja

The PTAD boss said the measure was part of the agency’s commitment to get authentic database of pensioners and streamline its payroll.

“So far we have dropped about 15,600 pensioners off our pay roll that have no BVN. So we just flat their account so that money does not go in there.

“We have told the genuine ones to update their BVN so that we can put them back on our payroll. We have saved the government millions of naira through the exercise.

“This action was in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and commercial banks to obtain current status of bank account being used by pensioners to receive their pension payment,” she said.

She noted that BVN was mandatory for the operation of a bank account.

She said that Pension payment to the accounts would remain suspended until the affected pensioners updated the status of their bank accounts and submitted it to PTAD along with other documents.

Ikeazor  said the pension administration she inherited did not have accurate data base for the pensioners and that the directorate had started nationwide verification to correct this.

According to her, the agency has in last year, carried out verification in some states in the North East which includes Yola, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi.

“Now we are going to start in Maiduguiri and Yobe as well because we want to key in to the development agenda of the government for the North East,” she said.

She said that the agency had this year also started the verification in south-south with Port Harcourt and Bayelsa centres which would move on to Edo and other centres.

The aim of the directorate, according to her, is to go round Nigeria to ensure that every pensioner is verified, as our anthem says the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain.

“Pensioners who have used all their lives to serve the nation supposed to get their pension.

“At the same time, as we are verifying, we are saving the government a lot of money.

“Because we can give the government accurate data of pensioners so that government can know its liabilities,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PTAD is responsible for the pension administration of the Defined Benefit Scheme

PTAD was established to address the numerous pensioners’ complaints that bother on issues such as non-payment of monthly pension, short payment of pension and gratuity.

Others are removal of name on pension payment voucher, non-payment of harmonised pension arrears, irregular payment of federal pensions and non receipt of pension after retirement.

PTAD, as empowered by the Amended Pension Reform Act, 2004, takes over the management of three of the offices presently running the old pension scheme.

These are the Civil Service Pension Department, the Police Pension Office and the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office.

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