BY EMEKA EJERE

The Executive Secretary (ES), Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Dr. Chioma Ejikeme has said a total N6.2 billion has been paid to 16,210 pensioners to clear their pension arrears, short payments and gratuities.

Ejikeme, in a statement, said the Directorate embarked on an expanded re-validation and re-computation in a bid to clear the arrears and resolve complaints of short payments and outstanding gratuities for the Civil Service Pensioners and their Next-of-Kin..

The ES, whom at the Directorate’s briefing last September declared a State of Emergency on the payment of outstanding entitlements to pensioners, and set-up an expanded project team to ramp up on the computation of benefits for verified civil service pensioners, said the project is targeted at reducing the number of complaints received by the Directorate on short payments, qualified pensioners not on payroll and other outstanding benefits to the pensioners and the NOK of deceased pensioners.

She noted that during the exercise between September 2020 and March 2021, 46,284 pensioners’ files were reviewed.

She said: “A total sum of N6.2 billion has been paid as arrears of gratuity, monthly payments and one-off payments to 16,210 pensioners/Nok that are qualified for the payment after the computation.

“Over 1,000 qualified pensioners not on payroll post-verification have been put on the payroll and their arrears paid.”

“A key aspect of the project geared towards continuous resolution of complaints was that it ensured that pensioners who have outstanding documents like bank statements, BVN and other required documents were contacted so as to resolve their complaints effectively. Calls were put across to the affected pensioners; letters were also written requesting them to forward such documents to the Directorate for the resolution of their complaints.

She assured that by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2021, all issues relating to short payments, gratuity and other forms of arrears for Civil Service pensioners would be settled, adding that pensioners’ welfare and wellbeing are of utmost priority to her.