By Lovet Azodo
Pensioners of New Nigerian Newspapers,NICON Insurance,Nigerian Defence Academy and Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, may soon receive their gratuity and pension benefits as the
Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate(PTAD) has commenced their verifications to include their names in its pay roll.
Pensioners from the above four hitherto parastatals of federal government have neither received their gratuity nor their pension benefits as the above organisations were tagged deformed parastatals therefore have not been paid their entitlements since 2006.
But PTAD, having completed its verification of 2,000 government retirees under its management last week,has rolled its sleeves to shed light into the case of pensioners from these deformed institution who have been crying for help over the years.
PTAD, which said it will conduct the exercise in three states name,y Lagos Abuja and Kaduna, said through the exercise, it will determine among them those that are acreditable and calculate and commence payment of their gratuity and pension benefits.
PTAD spokes person at the Lagos Verification centre, Emma Okondo answering questions from the media on the exercise, said there are about four thousand of such pensioners who worked in the aforementioned organisations.
“This verification is done by PTAD it is for four different parastatals. New Nigeria newspaper, NICON insurance, Nigeria Defence Academy and Nigeria Reinsurance. We are expecting a total of four thousand pensioners, they have never been verified so we were asked by the government to verify them to know if they are accreditable pensioners, so they can be paid their pensions and calculate their gratuity.It will be held in three states which are Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna. Most of these agencies were deformed, they have not been put on payroll since 2006, so we are about to start paying them now”, he stated.
Some of the pensioner who spoke to Optimum times on their feelings on the exercise expressed satisfaction with decision by PTAD.
I’m very impressed, everything is going fine better than I thought, it is not time wasting and their system is working.This one is far better than the previous ones they did.They put everyone’s interest and welfare into consideration to the extent that they provided free launch for us. I’m speechless”, one of the pensioners stated.
The pensioners said they have been hoping for the exercise for a long time and that some of their colleagues died in expectation.
They appealed to government to attend to pensioners’ need before it becomes late.
One of the pensioners, however said the exercise was too rowdy.
” I couldn’t come yesterday but I heard many people came yesterday and they left late, we were told that only 350 people will be attended to but I saw people holding 600-800
Another pensioner who said this was his first time of attending PTAD’s verification
urged government to employ more hands for the exercise next time to save time.
Government,Was also advised by the pensioners to provide a location for the exercise in all regions.
They also complained that information about the documents they should present for the exercise wasn’t clear.
“I had to swear an affidavit. But I’m happy about this operation because it made me see my colleagues again. Government should try and extend it to other parastatals that are still suffering neglect like us. The atmosphere is cool and they provided refreshment so we are grateful to them”, she said.