Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate has so far recovered N16bn of legacy pension funds and assets from insurance underwriters.
The Executive Secretary, PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a media briefing on the activities of the agency.
The amount is the inherited pension liabilities of all the Federal Government parastatals under the Defined Benefit Scheme without the commensurate assets from the insurance underwriters and boards of trustees, who were previously responsible for pension payment to this group of retirees.
The PTAD boss said that out of the N16bn, the sum of N6.9bn was the cash component domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, while the balance of N9.1bn was in form of properties that had been sent to the Ministry of Works for valuation.
She stated that currently, 28 properties had been recovered for the government by PTAD from the insurance firms, adding that while some of them were office buildings, others were in the form of residential apartments.
Ikeazor added that the agency was in the process of changing the tenancy agreement of the residential apartments in such a way that the rental incomes would now be paid to the Federal Government.
She said despite the recovery of N16bn, there was still an outstanding amount of N11bn in pension assets with insurance underwriters that would be recovered.
Ikeazor warned that PTAD would follow all legitimate processes to recover the funds from all insurance companies and underwriters that had not complied with the agreed final demand notice of October 2017.
She said, “PTAD inherited the pension liabilities of all the Federal Government parastatals under the Defined Benefit Scheme) without the commensurate assets from the Insurance Underwriters and Boards of Trustees, who were previously responsible for pension payment to this group of pensioners.
“PTAD has so far recovered cash and non-cash assets of over N16bn from the boards of trustees and insurance underwriters. The cash component of N6.9bn is domiciled with the CBN in a designated recovery account created solely for the remittance of such funds.
“PTAD will follow all legitimate process to recover these funds from all insurance companies and underwriters, who have not complied with the agreed final demand notice of October 2017.”
The PTAD boss added that the agency was implementing a comprehensive data management system.
She said under the data management system, over 19,000 pensioners whose accounts did not have the required Bank Verification Numbers were identified and suspended from the government payroll.
Ikeazor added that the pensioners who were suspended for lack of the BVN would only be reinstated after the provision of their BVN and due verification.
She said a continuous quality assurance process would be applied to identify any unqualified pensioner on the data base.
Apart from the 19,000 pensioners without the BVN, Ikeazor stated that about 22,021 who did not show up during the nationwide verification had also been suspended from the payroll.
She said, “Following the successful conclusion of the nationwide civil service pensioners’ verification in December 2017, pensioners who did not show up were given up to the end of March 2018 to come forward to be verified.
“A total of 22,021 retirees, who did not show up, have now been suspended from the payroll, amounting to a monthly savings of N495,022,747 for the government. This will translate to approximately N6bn per annum. Pensioners in the Diaspora, who have written to update us of their status, will, however, not be affected.”
Ikeazor said on the average, the PTAD was paying about N7.8bn monthly to pensioners, adding that the agency had enjoyed tremendous support from the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
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