The Pension Transition Directorate (PTAD) yesterday disclosed that it has paid over N800million to war affected officers between 2015 and 2018.
It would be recalled that PTAD flagged off payment of retirement benefits in Enugu last year to war affected police officers from the South East and South Zones who were issued with letters of amnesty by Police Service Commission.
Speaking at the 2018 PTAD South East Stakeholders’ Forum held at the Base Event Centre, Enugu, executive secretary of the organisation, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor, stated that the war affected officers were paid between November 2015 and 2018, adding that as a result of the death of some officers before amnesty was granted on 29th May, 2000; discrepancies in records; names not on Police Service Commission; some were yet to receive their benefits.
According to her, with the Directorate dependent on government for release of funds, it was obvious that salaries were prioritized over payment of pension to “our esteemed pensioners.”
She commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to make positive impact on the lives of pensioners, adding that it was her conviction that Nigeria owes the senior citizens a debt of gratitude for their dedication and sacrifice while in the service of this great nation.
“Accordingly, I have made it my mission to ensure that pensioners across the nation are well treated and continually served with the utmost empathy and respect, I’m glad to see a very good turnout of our esteemed pensioners, stakeholders, partners and sister agencies today. I made a pledge to my esteemed pensioners (last year) that engaging with them will become a tradition at PTAD and this is the first time the Directorate holds an engagement as such in the South East,” she stated.
She further hinted that they have been working closely with their regulator, PenCom to improve the agency’s overall compliance to match pension standards.
Ikeazor averred that their partner agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) were playing very important roles in the fight against corruption to ensure that pension administration does not revert to its previous state, “riddled with allegations of corruption and fraud.”
In her speech, the deputy director, Police Pension Department, Modupe Olokun, said that 500 Retired War Affected Pensioners have been verified, adding that 159 of them have been added to the payroll after they were able to present evidence of their service to the Nigeria Police.