PTAD Executive Secretary Speaks on 33% Pension Arrears, Verification, Plans to Enrol Retirees on Health Insurance Scheme, On-Going Database Sanitisation and other Pension Issues. – PensionNigeria

PTAD Executive Secretary Speaks on 33% Pension Arrears, Verification, Plans to Enrol Retirees on Health Insurance Scheme, On-Going Database Sanitisation and other Pension Issues.

Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate (PTAD) in a recent interview answered questions on the verification, plans to enrol retirees on health insurance scheme, 33% pension arrears, on-going database sanitisation and other pension issues.

Question

Why is PTAD carrying out pensioners’ verifications across the country?

Response

The verification exercise is just like it says-to verify. This is to know who are actually qualified as eligible pensioners. By virtual of what we are doing, we are taking care of senior citizens and even if they are eligible pensioners, some people somehow along the road would drop off. People will die. We will want to know those who actually are our eligible pensioners and those who would have dropped off our pension payroll. There are a lot of issues as well. Issues of pension arrears and issues of people who are supposed to be on the payroll but they are not on the payroll. There are issues of those who are being underpaid and issues of pensioners who are being overpaid. We are here to harmonise everything and make sure that every eligible pensioner is getting their due entitlements.

Question

What happens to retirees who miss the verification and how simple is the process to make it easy for aged persons who are not too strong health-wise?

Response

This is actually the last phase of the verification. As we have always said, it is difficult to capture everybody. You disseminate the information, some people will get it and some people will not get it. It is difficult to get everybody, but as they come, we will take care of them. But, there is still continuous verification going on in our office. Every day, we are verifying pensioners who come in in their convenience. So, those who miss the verification can come to our office and we will get them verified.

Question

You recently assumed office as the Executive Secretary of PTAD and you already know the challenges on ground. How do you intend to solve the challenges?

Response

The first thing is this verification. After the verification, we have to do a data clean-up. We’ve actually started. Like right now, we are in the process of Bank Verification Number (BVN) data clean-up. So, we will clean up our database in every way to know the accounts that are dormant and know whether the BVNs really belong to the people that they are supposed to belong to and to make sure that we are paying money into the right accounts. And when we get that sorted, we still have the issue of payment of arrears, proper placements and all of that. When we get all of that sorted, we would be looking at the availability of funds because we will have to have the funds to be able to get all of that sorted.

Question

Talking about enhancing the welfare of the pensioners, as a medical doctor, are you making moves to enrol pensioners into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)? Your Predecessor commented severally on the need for pensioners to have health insurance coverage. Do you intend to advance the process?

Response

We are thinking about it. Like you rightly said, the former Executive Secretary had started making the moves. We are also continuing with the moves. We are working on it. But, the first things first-let us get our data right so that we can even know who we are catering first. Because, when we are going to do the health insurance, it’s a number thing. We need to know how many people we are bringing on and how much is it per person. We want to be sure it’s the right people we are bringing on that platform. So, the minute we get our data cleaned up, we already have a process in place. Know that it’s in the front burner.

Question

How far have you gone on the payment of 33% pension increase arrears?

Response

We have a 24-month balance of the 33% pension arrears to pay. We are just waiting for funds. As soon as the funds are made available, we will pay.

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