By Michael Oche, Abuja –
The executive secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Sharon Ikeazor, yesterday, assured pensioners that their December pension will be paid before Christmas celebration.
Ikeazor also assured that the next payment of the 33 per cent pension increase will come up in the first quarters of 2018.
The PTAD executive secretary who spoke at the 2017 Pensioners Day in Abuja said the agency inherited over 60,000 pension complaints when it was established and has worked hard to reduce the complaints to less than 10,000.
She assured pensioners that the agency was working hard to ensure Pensioners in the country receive their entitlement as and when due in other to have the king of live they deserve after serving the country meritoriously.
He explained that PTAD is already processing the payment of their December pensions to ensure that the have their money before December 25 to celebrate their Christmas just like they did in 2016.
She told the pensioners, “You are the reason why we are all at work in PTAD. We just paid six months of the arrears of 33 per cent pension increase and are working hard to make sure all these payments are cleared.
“The verification exercise we are doing is for us to create a credible and secured database so that our pensioners don’t ever have to come out again for incessant verifications. PTAD is an agency under the ministry of finance. We have been doing our utmost best to ensure that pension payments are made before 25th of every month.
“All we are asking for is your cooperation which the union has been giving us. We inherited a backlog of over 60,000 complaints at the inception of PTAD. I am happy to say that this has been reduced to less than 10,000 and it is still work in progress.
“As our national anthem says, the Labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain. Your Labour shall never be in vain. To back that saying, PTAD will continue to pay pensions as and when due.
“So, the next payment of the 33 percent pension increase will come up in the first quarters of 2018. As government makes money available for the payment of the arrears, we will continue to pay and I am hopeful that it will be cleared by 2018.”
She however told journalists that “the payroll for all departments under PTAD for December is ready for approval and will be approved before the end of this week. So, they will get their payment before the Christmas celebration, as they did last year.”
On the apprehension being expressed by pensioners recently verified, she said “Pensioners who have been verified should not be apprehensive. The essence for this verification is to make sure that we put back the names of authentic pensioners who were previous removed from the payroll and to clean up the database we inherited, so that if there are ghost pensioners on the payroll, we clean them out.
“After the verification, for another four months, we will clean up the information and they get paid their monthly pension. They should best with us because this will be the last in the series of verifications because we are building a credible database so that pensioners don’t have to come out every year for verification.”