By Abdullateef Salau
The Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, on Tuesday says the directorate has suspended 15, 600 pensioners from its payroll due to lack of Bank Verification Number (BVN).
She also said the agency was set to commence verification of Nigerian pensioners in the Diaspora.
Ikeazor stated this when she paid a courtesy visit to the Senior Special Assistance to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora (SSAPFAD), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa in Abuja
The PTAD boss said the measure was part of the agency’s commitment to getting authentic database of pensioners and streamlining its payroll.
“So far we have dropped about 15, 600 pensioners off our pay roll that have no BVN. So we just flatten their account so that money does not go in there.
“We have told the genuine ones to update their BVN so that we can put them back on our payroll. We have saved the government millions of naira through the exercise.
“This action was in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and commercial banks to obtain current status of bank account being used by pensioners to receive their pension payment,” she said.
She noted that BVN was mandatory for the operation of a bank account.
She said that Pension payment to these accounts would remain suspended until the affected pensioners update the status of their bank accounts and submit it to PTAD along with other documents.
Speaking on the Diaspora pensioners, the PTAD boss said they are Nigerians who had worked in the country due for pension but did not collect their pension before moving abroad.
“My coming is to see how we can partner with the office of SSAPFAD to enable us capture pensioners in the Diaspora so that we can have their accurate data base.
“We want to set up a portal that will enable them to key in to the scheme and enhance their verification process without necessarily coming into the country,” she said.
Responding, Dabiri-Erewa commended PTAD boss for the efforts in capturing the Diaspora pensioners saying they deserve to receive their pension after meritorious serve to the country.