Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) is set to remove the names of 23,089 pensioners from its monthly pension payroll effective from August pension payment.
This was disclosed in a letter sent by PTAD to the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, titled “Removal of Parastatals Pensioners That Did Not Undergo Verification From the Directorate’s Pension Payroll” and dated 9th July 2020.
PTAD said it arrived at the number after “review and analysis” of the field verification exercise it carried out for pensioners between April and November 2019 as well a follow-up exercise held at the PTAD headquarters, Abuja and the Lagos liaison office before the lockdown.
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in its response dated 11 August 2020 and signed by the General Secretary of NUP, Elder Actor Zal, said it was shocked at the staggering figure of 23,089 pensioners about to be removed from PTAD payroll for various reasons, and warned PTAD to check its facts and records very well in order to avoid the outrage that may follow if done haphazardly.
The letter reads in part, “The union was shocked at the staggering figure of 23,089 pensioners about to be yanked off the payroll for various reasons. While we will not support continued payment of monthly pension to those pensioners who did not undergo verification, we are however of the firm belief that not all the entire twenty-three thousand and eighty-nine (23,089) pensioners on the attached list are dead, sick or even did not attend the aforesaid verification. It is glaringly impossible.”
“Therefore, we want to seriously appeal that you painstakingly cross-check your facts and records very well and be double sure of the names involved before removing them finally from the payroll. Secondly, we appeal to PTAD to among other measures endeavour to publish these names in at least three national newspapers to create the necessary awareness both at home and abroad for all pensioners involved.”
“Experience over the years has shown to us that it is always easier to remove names from payroll than to restore it. Remember, pensioners monthly payment is a matter of life and death for the pensioners as many of them do not have any other means of income to survive. Moreso, they are aged, vulnerable and endangered species exposed to numerous health challenges. Therefore, it is better to do it thoroughly and achieve the desired result and avoid the outrage that may follow if done haphazardly.”