Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) is an organisation responsible for the pension administration of the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS). It was established to address numerous pensioners’ complaints on issues of non-payment of monthly pension, short payment of pension and gratuity, removal of name on pension payment voucher, non-payment of harmonized pension arrears, and irregular payment of federal pensions and non-receipt of pension after retirement, among others.
This organisation was empowered by Section 30, Sub Section (2a) of the Amended Pension Reform Act, 2004. These relevant laws have served as a guide to the organisation and they have been doing their best to deliver on the aforementioned mandates.
It is rather unfortunate that for the past six months now or there about, the once vibrant and very functional institution has been rendered almost redundant and non-functional. This followed the bitter smearing campaign of calumny against the suspended Director General of PTAD, Mrs. Nellie Mayshak.
Mayshak was suspended as a result of the spurious allegations levelled against her. She was maliciously tagged a fraud and subsequently subjected to public opprobrium, which eventually led to her suspension.
It would be recalled that on March 17, the media were awash with the report of the suspension of the Executive Secretary/Director General of PTAD, Mayshak from office over her alleged culpability in financial fraud. Following the directive by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, a director from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation was named acting head of the PTAD till this day.
One of such heavy allegations against Mrs. Mayshak was that she pocketed such a mind-blowing sum of N60 million monthly. It is rather unfortunate that even when this allegation has no base, the court of public opinion declared Mayshak guilty as charged. She was subjected to a heavy media campaign, where she was tagged a fraud while a probe panel set up to investigate the allegation levelled against her was still ongoing. Both the mainstream and social media space was choked with huge mudslinging against the suspended DG. This however, formed the basis of many Nigerians even asking for her head while she is still being investigated.
However, it is over six months now that the probe panel set up to investigate the allegation levelled against Nellie Mayshak and the outcome of the probe panel has not been made public to either nail or vindicate the accused Director General.
It was even pathetic that since the suspension of Mayshak, the organisation has been reduced to a shadow of its old self. In fact, sources informed that the level of incompetence displayed by the acting DG led to an order that he should also step aside thereby leaving the agency in a helpless situation.
This has however, subjected the senior citizens whose payment of pension has been affected by this unnecessary crisis to untold hardship. Majority of them are subjected to a precarious situation, as the progress experienced during the reign of the pioneer DG, Mayshack, has been halted.
Many organisations with pension matter challenges are presently complaining, this is because their problems regarding their Pension challenges was about being sorted before this drama that led to the suspension of Mayshak.
It was reported recently that aggrieved pensioners across the country and their next of kins have continued to decry the suspension of the executive secretary and director general, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mayshak, months ago.
It was also reported that, pensioners have lamented deterioration in the quality of verification exercise and payment since her suspension from office and have called for her reinstatement as they believe the suspension must have been done in error.
In the view of many pensioners, the suspension of Mayshak is counter-productive as her numerous achievements have been rendered useless, even as the challenges experienced in the pension service in Nigeria has resurfaced again. Issues such as verification exercise are deteriorating and this has jeopardized the welfare of many senior citizens.
For instance, a letter by a pensioner Mr Samuel Ajunwa lauded Mayshak’s prompt payment of pensions, and commended her conduct of verification exercise, and her commitment to pensioners’ welfare. The pensioners however, expressed displeasure over their ill treatment since Mayshak left office and expressed fear that the management of pensions under the defined benefit scheme which Mayshak upheld may not live up to its mandate.
It was also on record that, Mayshak efforts was commended by a retired Commissioner of Police, Chief Samuel Fetipigi who was quoted as saying that the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme being transferred to PTAD and pensioner’s verification exercise under her watch recorded tremendous and commendable success.
Pensioners have expressed disappointment over the agency’s inability to follow the blue print of Mayshak, whom they described as an “outstanding public sector reform expert”, and have made series of complaints about the agency losing the glory and values it was known for while Mayshak was in charge.
Kemi Adeosun will do Nigeria well if she yields to this Save Our Souls (SOS) complaints from the real people who are affected by whatever happens in PTAD. It would be unfair to ignore such a cry.
– Hamza, a public analyst, wrote in from Malumfashi, Katsina State