BusinessDay

PTAD mulls new pension review in 2024

...recovers £26.5m colonial pension fund from UK …recommends “I Am Alive” platform for confirmation

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Thursday said the pension agency will pursue the implementation of a five-yearly pension review in 2024.

PTAD Executive Secretary, Chioma Ejikeme, disclosed this while appearing at the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.

She disclosed that the 1999 Nigeria Constitution, as amended, had provided for the five-yearly review, adding that the last review was carried out in 2019.

Ejikeme, who noted that the review was in line with the current economic realities, added that the agency will pursue “the implementation of the constitutional provision of a five yearly pension increment”.

She also disclosed that PTAD has repatriated £26.5 million from Crown Agents Investment Managers Limited of the United Kingdom being the left over of the money used to pay British colonial officers who worked in Nigeria.

This is just as the pension agency said a web based platform “ I Am Alive” has also been designed to enable pensioners to confirm they are alive.

According to the agency, pensioners with issues in their pension payments “can easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighborhood using either a smartphone or a computer system without the stress of having to travel for periodic field verification”

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She declared that PTAD has also recovered the sum of N17.85 billion from Boards of Trustees and Underwriters of Treasury Funded Federal Parastatals, as legacy pension assets

She said the monies were used to defray the inherited arrears of defunct agencies and to pay-off inherited outstanding pension arrears.

The PTAD boss revealed that the directorate has paid over N610 billion from January 2015 to December 2021, in monthly pensions, while noting that it had achieved 90% of its mandate.

According to her, “through the unwavering support of President Muhammadu Buhari who has been adjudged by pensioners as the most pensioner-friendly President in Nigeria, and administration which has made Pension an unwritten first-line charge; the able supervision of the Honorable Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning and our Regulator PenCom, PTAD’s Management Team has been able to achieve the following: Full implementation of the TSA which has ensured the sanctity of pension funds and enshrined transparency in Pension payments.

“Regular monthly payments of pension without fail since inception as and when due.

“Payments of long outstanding arrears to pensioners across all the pension departments, most significantly the huge arrears inherited from the defunct/privatized agencies.

“Regular engagements with Pensioners and other stakeholders across all the six geo-political zones, to update pensioners on activities of the directorate.”

Speaking further of the “ I am Alive” platform, Ejikeme said PTAD has already commenced the pilot phase of the platform with 50,000 pensioners , randomly selected in the six geopolitical zones.

“ PTAD has trained Pensioners, Pension Desk Officers of various institutions and organizations where our pensioners retired from , as well as Pension Union Executives from the six geopolitical zones”

She disclosed that the training is to enable them to assist pensioners who are unable to carry out the “ I Am Alive” confirmation on their own”

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