WorldStage Newsonline-- Nigeria’s Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has recovered about N16 billion pension funds and assets trapped in various Insurance companies and wants to use it to address some of the challenges of pensioners in the country.
Barrister Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary of PTAD who disclosed this at a Pension stakeholders Forum in Abuja said N13 billions of the money was recovered in assets from NICON insurance, adding that the recoveries were currently being evaluated by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
She disclosed that the agency planned to recover additional assets and funds currently being held by other insurance under writers and monies recovered from them will be used to address pensioners complains.
Barrister Ikeazor said at the moment, the biggest challenge facing the agency was the payment of the arrears of 33 percent pension increase, adding that while paramilitary agencies had been fully paid the arrears, the Police, parastatal and Civil Service pensioners were still being owed arrears between 18 and 30 months.
She informed Pensioners that the agency had a zero tolerance for corruption and has set up a fully operational Anti Corruption Transparency Unit to deal with cases of corruption, stressing that the staff of the agency were fully aware of this.
She said however that despite efforts being made by the agency in tackling pension fraud, Pensioners still experience random scammers who call them claiming to be staff of PTAD and asking for money to process their complaints.
She disclosed that the agency had been successful in arresting a few of such scammers who have been reported to the ICPC and the police for necessary action, warning the pensioners not to relate with such people as the agency will never ask for money to do its job.
The agency also solicited increased collaboration with the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in properly communicating the laudable change process of the Federal Government as it involves the Directorate in meeting the welfare of its pensioners.
Receiving the leadership of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) led by its President, Ifeyinwa Omowole, the Executive Secretary asked Journalists to brace up for the coverage of the verification of eligible Civil Service Pensioners in Oyo and Ogun States before the end of the month, adding that verified pensioners will be pay-rolled into the Directorate’s transparent automated database to enhance its monthly pension payments.
She said since there was the need to tell the truth when government does what is good for the people, NAWOJ members should be able to situate their story through investigative journalism, adding that, PTAD has many human angle stories for public consumption.
She advised the Executive Committee to enhance capacity building for members of the association so that they can function better in their physiological strength of being matters who nurture society.
Earlier, the National President of NAWOJ, Ifeyinwa Omowole said their visit was to give credence to and express solidarity with the successes recorded by Sharon Ikeazor in re-organizing the agency and re-tooling the employees for better service delivery.
The visitor described the host as one who had brought back life to many Nigerians, especially female Pensioners who now enjoy their monthly entitlements.
She explained that as voice of the voiceless, the association plans to start a campaign to educate males on legally designating their wives as Next-Of-Kin to enhance the process of child up-bringing and welfare. The association also plans to celebrate women in a wider context in a publication on Nigerian women Leaders where PTAD’s Executive Secretary will feature.