PTAD Executive Secretary, Sharon Ikeazor

By LOVETH AZODO, Lagos

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has frowned against any fraudulent practice in the pension sector, assuring that it is committed to entrenching zero tolerance to pension fraud.

This is even as the Directorate commenced the Verification of 104,133 pensioners and Next of Kin of 270 Federal Funded Parastatals.

The PTAD Executive Secretary, Sharon Ikeazor, while alerting the general public of the fraudulent activities of pension scammers who call pensioners to request fees or cash to track their complaints for payment of outstanding entitlements,  informed pensioners that PTAD will never request for processing fees to process any complaint and urged them to report any fraudulent or corrupt act by calling 08144607574.

Ikeazor noted that the number of pensioners who reported receiving scam calls in 2018 reduced from over 200 in 2017 to 160, out of which only 34 actually paid the money to the fraudsters.

She reassured pensioners of the Directorate’s commitment to safeguarding their interest and pension funds.

 She disclosed that the directorate made arrest of three impersonators who attempted to fraudulently get enlisted into PTAD’s payroll, adding that efforts were being made to apprehend the individuals who gave the impersonators the forged documents.

The verification exercise which started in Lagos Tuesday, April 23rd is expected to round off Thursday, May 9 2019 in centers located in Ikeja, Ketu, Akoka, Ebute Metta and Lagos Island.

Other phases of the exercise will be held in states in the different geopolitical zones on the following dates: South South (May 20th – June 1st, 2019), South West (June 10th – June 26th, 2019), North Central (July 8th – July 24th, 2019), North East (August 5th – August 9th, 2019), North West (August 19th – September 2nd, 2019), South East (September 16th – October 2nd, 2019).

Amongst the pensioners undergoing verification were the defunct/privatized agencies namely Nigeria Aviation Handling Company ( NAHCO), Assurance Bank, Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and Aluminium Smelter Company Of Nigeria (ALSCON)

PTAD explained that the exercise is to validate inherited payrolls from the various defunct pension boards and offices which handled payment to the pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and to create a comprehensive digital database of pensioners.

 According to the Directorate, “The exercise will also facilitate easy access and retrieval of records for computation and prompt complaints resolution. It will also ensure that monthly pension is accurately calculated and reflects application of relevant pension statutes, policy and salary structures.”

A verified NEPA now PHCN pensioner, Yusuf Jimoh who worked under the Staff Clinic department for 25years shared his satisfaction on the exercise with newsmen at the Ikeja center.

He said: “I went through three stages. The exercise is very nice and orderly. I was asked to provide letter of appointment, retirement, last promotion and last payment.  I am satisfied with the exercise, there was no problem with their performance. I urge the Federal Government to pay our pensions on time so we would be alive to eat the fruit of our labour.”