The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), is now ready to verify the payroll of ex-workers of Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), following approval from Minister of Finance.
This is contrary to reports that PTAD had deliberately delayed the verification process.
Executive Secretary of PTAD Sharon Ikeazor, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said the clarification became necessary due to alleged misleading information by representatives of ex workers of NNSL on the verification.
According to Ikeazor, representatives of the ex- workers had issued an information allegedly insinuating that PTAD had deliberately delayed their enrolment into the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) .
Ikeazor said the representatives had alleged that the delay on the verification was frustrating payment of N3 billion pension arrears owed to their members.
She, however, said that the allegation was misleading noting that enrolling pensioners of defunct and privatised agencies was part of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“The policy of government saw to enrolment of pensioners of Delta Steel Company, NICON Insurance, Nigeria Reinsurance, New Nigerian Newspapers, NITEL and MTEL.
“All (are) agencies that were either privatised or liquidated by previous governments without contingency safety nets.
“Plans are already underway for the verification and enrolment of qualified ex-workers of Savannah Sugar Company, Aluminum Smelter Company, Nigerian National Shipping Line and others as approved by the Minister of Finance.
“In the case of NNSL, the approval for enrolment was received in April 2018, several months after the first set of agencies were approved,’’ Ikeazor explained.
According to her, pre-verification for pensioners is a long and painstaking inter-ministerial process that requires the collection of data and digitisation of documents.
She said the process required getting the authentic salary structure of the agency concerned, noting that the case of NNSL wasn’t an easy feat for the directorate.
“When PTAD eventually got a response in that regard from the Federal Ministry of Transport, representatives of the union, whom the directorate had been actively engaging with all along, declared the document incomplete.”
“The said that it didn’t include the salary structure of its Seamen,”she said.
Ikeazor, however, said PTAD was yet to receive any formal information from the Federal Ministry of Transport on the allusion made by the representatives of the union .
She said PTAD had up to date verified and put on monthly pension payroll, a total of 16,873 pensioners of seven defunct privatized agencies.
The PTAD boss also said 759 Next of Kins (NoK) of deceased pensioners of the defunct agencies had been paid their final entitlements.
She listed the number of payment made to include NITEL/MTEL 10,801; Delta Steel Company 3,593; NICON Insurance 949; Nigeria Reinsurance 292; New Nigeria Newspapers 507; Nigerian Defence Academy (Civilians) 79; Federal Housing Authority 652.
She said preparation for the verification of all treasury funded parastatals, including NNSL, had been completed and the exercise would commence soon across the country.
Ikeazor assured all pensioners that were yet to be verified that succor would soon come their way in conformity with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to improve the welfare of all Nigerian pensioners