In line with government’s efforts in rebuilding the confidence of Nigerians in the North East, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) are partnering to verify pensioners in the zone towards prompt and accurate pensions payments.
This was the fall-out of deliberations when the NOA Director General, Garba Abari received the PTAD Executive Secretary, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor in his office.
Abari noted that citizens in the North East have for long felt alienated from the country owing to the security challenges in that zone, hence the verification of pensioners in the zone would help restore their sense of belonging. He stressed that senior citizens who have served the nation ought to retire in peace through prompt and constant payment of pension claims, describing non-payment of pensions as a systemic problem which PTAD must address.
The NOA boss assured of his Agency’s cooperation in sensitization, mobilization and advocacy not only for an effective pensioners’ verification in the North East but also for greater public confidence in PTAD and the pension system. He said it would also stem the tide of pensioners falling into the hands of fraudsters and expressed confidence in the capacity of the new PTAD Executive Secretary to deliver in that regard.
Earlier, Barr. Ikeazor said the visit was to solicit collaboration with NOA toward “sanitizing the pensions payroll and creating an accurate and credible database of pensioners under the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) for efficient pension management”. She said PTAD, this year, commenced nationwide verification of pensioners and was counting on NOA’s formations in the North East for the success of the next phase, having completed the verification of the South West and South East zones. She further explained that the verification will continue until all pensioners and Next-of-Kins of deceased pensioners under the DBS are verified.
The PTAD boss said the Directorate has in 2016 succeeded in regularizing monthly pension, paid 33 percent of pension arrears including pension benefits to Next-of-Kins verified by PenCom, among others, adding that the verification of North East pensioners would help fast-track the gains so far recorded.