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BVN: PTAD drops 15,600 pensioners from pay roll

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

Ikeazor, who stated this when she paid a courtesy visit to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora (SSAPFAD), Mrs Abike dabiri-Erewa, in Abuja, said the agency was set to commence verification of Nigerian pensioners in the Diaspora.

The PTAD boss said the measure was part of the agency’s commitment to getting authentic database of pensioners and streamlining 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 these accounts would remain suspended until the affected pensioners update the status of their bank accounts and submit it to PTAD along with other documents.

Speaking on the Diaspora pensioners, the PTAD boss said they are Nigerians who had worked in the country due for pension but did not collect their pension before moving abroad.

“My coming is to see how we can partner with the office of SSAPFAD to enable us capture pensioners in the Diaspora so that we can have their accurate data base.

“Verification of our pensioners is to ensure that every pensioner is captured. You know that we have a lot of pensioners in the Diaspora.

“Am hoping that we can partner together to get all the information data on our Diaspora.

“We want to set up a portal that will enable them to key in to the scheme and enhance their verification process without necessarily coming into the country,” she said.

She said the agency would get the nominal roll of pensioners from the state government trough which it can ascertain the state and the Federal share.

Dabiri-Erewa commended PTAD boss for the efforts in capturing the Diaspora pensioners and to also ensure that the labour never went unrewarded.

The presidential aide explained that the measure would save them of coming and going for collection of pension.

“The introduction of the scheme is an interesting news to the Diaspora and we will work with our pensioners in the Diaspora because the deserve to receive their pension after meritorious serve to the country.

“Am sure this will go a long way to show that this administration cares for all Nigerians either at home or in Diaspora.

“We will look forward to capturing every Nigerian in Diaspora who had served the country,” she said

Ikeazor further explained that the aim of the directorate,was 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 suppose to get their pension.

“And 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.

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

According to her the agency had in last year carried out verification exercise 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 exercise with south-south with Port Harcourt and Bayelsa centres which will move on to Edo and other centres.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.