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.