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The Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor has revealed that her department had suspended 15,600 pensioners from its payroll for lack of Bank verification Number (BVN).
The implications of the development are many including the fact that their pension fund will continue to grow but access will be limited pending when the senior citizens will perfect their BVN logistics.
Secondly, it means that the 15,600 accounts belonging to the pensioners formed part of the 95.25 million accounts that are yet to be captured in the CBN policy.
Thirdly, it means that pension payment to the accounts would remain suspended until the affected pensioners updated the status of their bank accounts and submitted it to PTAD along with other documents.
Explaining more before the visiting Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora (SSAPFAD), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in Abuja, Ikeazor said the measure was part of the agency’s commitment to get authentic database of pensioners and streamline its payroll.
She said “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 that the agency had this year also started the verification in south-south with Port Harcourt and Bayelsa centres which would move on to Edo and other centres, noting that similar efforts had been made in the Northern part of the country with success.
It would be recalled that the PTAD was established to address the numerous pensioners’ complaints that bother on issues such as non-payment of monthly pension, short payment of pension and gratuity.
Others duties include removal of name on pension payment voucher, non-payment of harmonised pension arrears, irregular payment of federal pensions and non receipt of pension after retirement.
PTAD, as empowered by the Amended Pension Reform Act, 2004, takes over the management of three of the offices presently running the old pension scheme including the Civil Service Pension Department, the Police Pension Office and the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office.