The Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate (PTAD) on Thursday declared the completion of the payment of the last round of 196-month pension arrears owed to retirees of two defunct/privatized public enterprises; Insurance PLC and Delta Steel Company.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme made the point on Thursday during a press conference held at the Directorate’s headquarters in Abuja.
“The Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate is pleased to announce the full liquidation of the 56 months of inherited pension liabilities for NICON Insurance and the 49 months owed to former Delta Steel Company workers.
“For NICON Insurance, a total of 100 months was inherited, while a total of 96 months was also inherited. Totaling; N7, 053, 150, 468 (Seven billion, fifty-three million, one hundred fifty thousand and sixty-eight naira fourteen Kobo)”. She said in her statement.
In her further explanation, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme said; “In February 2017, PTAD received a directive from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to take over the administration of pensions and severance benefits for former workers of certain defunct/privatized agencies, including Delta Steel Company , NICON Insurance PLC, Savannah Sugar Company, NITEL/MTEL, Aluminum Smelter Company, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), among others. These companies were federal government business entities that were privatized or liquidated as part of the 1999-2005 privatization/commercialization of state-owned enterprises reform.
“This exercise led to the disengagement of a considerable number of public sector employees. In February, when the PTAD was instructed to onboard retirees from these agencies, they inherited unpaid monthly pensions and arrears ranging from 84 to 219 months while some of the agencies entitled to one-time payments had no not been paid.
“Since 2017, PTAD has been liquidating the unfunded pension liabilities of these agencies. By December 2021, PTAD had completely liquidated the pension liabilities inherited from New Nigerian Newspapers, the Nigerian Re-Insurance Corporation, had made one-time payments to Savannah Sugar, aluminum smelter beneficiaries and their relatives as well as Nigerian Aviation Handling Company. beneficiaries and had settled some months of arrears of others”.
She added: “It should be noted at this point that the unfunded liabilities inherited from these defunct agencies initially were in the range of N95,000,000,000. Currently these defunct agencies have a total monthly pension bill of N2,298,893,321,08 (two billion, two hundred ninety eight million, eight hundred ninety three thousand, three hundred and twenty one naira) and an annual bill of N62,073, 219, 358, 32 (Seventy-two billion seventy-three million two hundred nineteen thousand three hundred fifty-eight naira), accounting for 44% of the total monthly/annual pension bill of the Parastatal Pensions Department. To date, we have settled a total of over 39 billion naira out of the 95 billion naira inherited, of which 3.4 billion naira are one-time payments. These payments are in progress.
“I had earlier and repeatedly assured our esteemed retirees from defunct and privatized agencies that PTAD was working tirelessly to ensure that their retirement and severance packages were paid as soon as possible. I am pleased that these efforts are now producing results, and I must commend our retirees for their patience and support over all these years.
Regarding the “I Am Alive” program aimed at facilitating the verification of retirees and eradicating fraud in the administration and management of pensions, the PTAD ES said: “After concluding the pilot phase of the I Am Alive, which was launched last year, may I also take this opportunity to inform the media and our retirees that Management has concluded plans for the full deployment of the “I’m Alive” confirmation solution, which is the way forward in terms of validating retirees’ lives under the Defined Benefits Scheme.
“The I AM ALIVE confirmation solution is a web-based solution we designed and launched to allow our retirees to easily confirm their health status from the comfort of their own home or neighborhood using a smartphone or a computer system.
“Full details of the rollout of the I Am Alive confirmation solution will be announced in due course. We can all agree that this solution will take the risk and stress out of traveling to various locations for field checks, and demonstrates the willingness of PTAD to make life easier for our seniors and ensure they continue to enjoy their retirement without stress.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE