Despite series of verification exercises by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, many federal retirees have continued to complain of prolonged unpaid pensions, NIKE POPOOLA reports
Many retirees have complained of non-payment of their pensions and gratuities more than 10 years after leaving the services of the Federal Government despite participating in verification exercises conducted by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
Some of the affected retirees, who decried that many of their members had died without collecting their entitlements called on the Federal Government to pay their entitlements. PTAD, the government agency administering the pensions of retirees under the Defined Benefits Scheme, had however admitted that some retirees were owed their pensions, but denied owing up to five years’ arrears.
Many senior citizens, who served the country in their active days, have been allegedly neglected by the government with many succumbing to early death due to the inability to access their pension benefits. Some of the challenges facing the Nigerian pensioners include non-payment of gratuity and pension, omission of retirees’ names on government list, and delisting of retirees’ names from the government payroll.
Irregularities in pension data over the years have made it difficult for the government to come up with accurate information on the number of retirees in the country. As a result, the government has been unable to identify the total number of genuine retirees to be placed on its payroll.
To correct the abnormalities, the PTAD was established as an agency of the Federal Government in 2013 to revamp the pension system of federal retirees under the old Defined Benefits Scheme.
However, findings by Headlinenews revealed that PTAD was far finding solutions to the challenges facing the federal retirees. Retirees who spoke with our correspondent narrated how they had been denied their retirement benefits.
Mr Adeleke Ajose, who retired from the Federal Ministry of Information in 2006, recounted her ordeals in the hands of PTAD officials.
Ajose said, “I did verification since 2017. I have visited PTAD office in Abuja and, Lagos. I have made several calls and the only response I have been getting is that I should have patience; ‘we will get back’. “They tell me everything is in order. I was called after the verification in 2017 and they asked for some documents which I sent to them and they acknowledged receiving it.
“I even spoke to a lawyer friend of mine and he has written about three letters to PTAD and none was replied. I have not got anything. I have not been placed on monthly payroll.”