By Sola Alabadan / Senior Correspondent
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) intends to conduct the first pensioners’ verification and biometric data capture exercise to establish a comprehensive, authentic and credible database of pensioners under the Defined Benefits Scheme.
PTAD’s Director General, Nellie Mayshak, who disclosed this in Lagos at the
Sensitisation Workshop on Pension Management under PTAD, affirmed that absence of credible database is one of the major challenges facing the administration of the pension scheme.
After having successfully conducted a mini-verification of some categories of Police and Civil Service pensioners in the past, Mayshak stated that the proposed nationwide pensioners’ verification exercise will ensure effective planning and management of pensions in the country.
Besides, she said the exercise will eliminate ghost pensioners; eliminate duplication of payments; correct and eradicate anomalies such as over payments and short payments, which has been a problem under the scheme.
Going forward, she added that the exercise would facilitate payment of pensions, gratuities, death benefits and other pensioners’ entitlements; while also assisting in updating records of their next of kin; and enrol new pensioners.
PTAD is an agency of the Federal Government established to manage pensions under the Defined Benefits Scheme for pensioners not transiting to the Defined Contributory Scheme
She also informed that PTAD is determined to digitilise pension payments, noting that efforts are underway to move from manual to automatic systems and processes to ensure seamless payment of pensioners as well as bring transparency into the system.
“PTAD is making use of technology to address all the mess it inherited from the old pension system.
“We will leverage on it to get database of pensioners; the database will help us to know the actual number of pensioners by removing ghost pensioners from the system,” she said.
At present, she said there has been an improvement inmonthly pension payments as it is being paid prompt and electronically through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
Similarly, Mayshak pointed out that PTAD has put in place mechanism for tracking failed payments to pensioners as well as restored payment of monthly pension to genuine pensioners removed from payroll.
Apart from tackling of reported fraud cases in collaboration with Pensioners, Unions and Agencies such as EFCC, she maintained that PTAD has “a Zero tolerance for corruption; there has not been a single incident of misappropriation of pension funds since PTAD – there will never be.”
Source : Independent