The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate has commenced the first and second phases of verification for pensioners of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited and its mobile subsidiary, MTEL for the North Central Zone in Abuja.
The exercise which takes place on Monday at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s event Centre, Maitama, Abuja, would have over 4000 pensioners verified.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, said that the number of pensioners for the exercise is about 600 persons everyday.
However, she noted, “but today we have over 700 and we can only treat a minimum of 500 and 600 highest. We now ask them to come back the next day that is the exercise is opened for a week and when the whole exercise closes, they are free to walk into Lagos office or our Abuja office to get verified.”
According to the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, the exercise also took place in centres across Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gombe and Abuja.
The directorate stated that the verification would attend to retirees and next of kin of deceased pensioners.
Earlier in his remarks the Director of Military Pension Board, Brig. Gen. Adekunle Adesope who led a team of from the military pension board to observe how PTAD conducts its pensions verification exercise, said that the arrangement is commendable.
Adesope noted that “the way the pensioners are coordinated and being treated in various segments is good, particularly you have a section that is dedicated to sick pensioners.
On what the military pension board is taking away from the PTAD verification exercise, the Director said, it’s just the arrangement. Like I was talking to the Executive Secretary a while a go that this exercise must be very expensive for them. In our own case we don’t do things like this, we do it in military formations where we don’t need to rent hall. But the arrangement is good, this is not the first time we are collaborating with PTAD and the essence is for us to be able to do things together and make life better for the pensioners.
Although, our own budget does not capture feeding for pensioners.”
On military pensioners who have complained of not been enrolled by the pension board, Adesope said that any former military man that is qualified to be on “our database, are on our database. As many of them have moved in the 2017 verification exercise, we still have a standing verification going on right now in our premises and these exercise was actually concluded 9th of December 2017 but as we speak, it is still ongoing and it will not close until 30th of April this year.”
The process, according to the agency, takes four distinct steps for capturing their biodata and other relevant documents for them to be suitably placed on the payroll and database for payment of their monthly pension, according to the organisation.
Some of the retirees that were recently verified by PTAD were the Delta Steel Company and Federal Housing Authority and defunct agencies such as NICON Insurance and Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation.
Some of the pensioners who spoke with correspondent, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise commending PTAD for treating them with dignity.
Mrs Jane Okoro, one of the pensioners who was in wheel chair, said that she was amazed with the prompt attention given to her and was attended to in less than 20 minutes.