By Chika Otuchikere
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Wednesday disclosed that 22,021 pensioners were penalized with suspension from the payroll following their non-appearance for the verification exercise in 2017.
Also, over 19,000 pensioners whose accounts did not have the required Bank Verification Number (BVN) were identified in the data management process and suspended from the payroll.
PTAD Executive Secretary, Ms Sharon Ikeazor, who made the disclosure during a media briefing, said over N6 billion had been saved annually from the process.
Ikeazor said the pensioners, who refused to turn up for the exercise, were given up to end of March to appear, affirming that the basis of verification was to identify genuine pensioners.
The Executive Secretary, however, said the directorate was also mindful of pensioners living in the Diaspora, stressing that pensioners in that category, who had updated their status with PTAD would not be affected.
She added that the pensioners affected by the BVN would only be re-instated after provision of their BVN and due verification conducted.
“The suspension of the pensioners is resulting in the saving of N495 million monthly for the Federal Government, which amounted to approximately N6 billion per annum,’’ she said.
On update of Civil Service Pension Department (CSPD), she said the directorate had successfully added 7,969 verified civil service pensioners to the payroll.
Ikeazor who spoke on pension assets recovery, explained that PTAD had so far recovered cash and non-cash assets of over N16billion from the Pension Board of Trustees (BOTS) and Insurance Underwriters while outstanding pension assets with the Insurance Underwriters and BOTs as at April 2018 was in excess of N11 billion.