The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other government agencies to fight fraud in pension administration.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sheron Ikeazor, made the statement in Abuja on Wednesday at the News Agency of Nigeria Forum.
Ikeazor said: “I call the people you call pension thieves blood money thieves, we are working with EFCC, ICPC and other security agencies to block all the loopholes.
“Since I came in, we have established an anti-corruption unit in collaboration with ICPC and also, I have made a policy role that we must have incidence report of these frauds.’’
She decried fraudulent practices in the pension system and added that stringent measures were being put in place to address the situation, including partnership with banks.
According to her, part of the measures is to ensure that the database of the directorate`s payroll is clean while monies are paid into only bank accounts with Bank Verification Numbers.
She said: “If we have accounts that are dormant or do not have BVN numbers, we definitely will not pay into it and we have saved lots of monies for government through this measure.
“We are following that up and we are making savings through that by collaborating with banks, no BVN no paying of monies in account even if you are on our payroll.’’
She said the directorate was able to discover some loopholes during verification in 2015 and dropped 7, 000 names from the pension payroll.
Ikeazor expressed gratitude to banks which notified the directorate of the deaths of some pensioners and so saved the government a lot of money.
She added that under the law, banks were expected to notify PTAD about the death of pensioners and return pension monies paid into their accounts.
Ikeazor also said that PTAD was working on recovering assets from some pension custodians.
She stated: “We are going after recovery of assets that are still with these companies, the ones in court, I cannot comment on that.
“But we indeed intend to recover all the assets because it’s not fair that it is just liability that are passed onto PTAD.
“Take Nigeria Railways for instance, we still have assets which they should have sent over to us.’’
She further said that PTAD had so far, recovered N1.2 billion assets of Nigerian Railways pensioners and hoped to recover more.
Ikeazor added that the priority of PTAD under her leadership was to ensure a staff audit in spite of its major challenge which was funding.
She stressed that funding was the directorate’s major challenge because the monthly pension was not paid into its account at the right time.
She added that the directorate was making plans to restructure the pension payment system with special focus on its data base.
This is critical to ensure a genuine tamper proof data base for the capturing of biometrics that will have less human interference, Ikeazor said.