The Pension Transitional Administration Directorate (PTAD) said it has discovered and removed 15,600 ghost pensioners from the Federal government payroll following verification exercises as part of efforts to sanitizing the payment of pensioners.
Executive Secretary PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor said about 5,000 from New Nigerian Newspapers, Nicon Insurance, Nigerian ReInsurance and civilian retirees of Nigerian Defence Academy are undergoing final verification that started on Monday in Kaduna, Lagos and Abuja scheduled to end on Friday, she added that the pensioners once verified will enter the Federal government pension payroll within four months
The PTAD boss told newsmen on Wednesday when she visited theNDA Staff Secondary School Kaduna where the verification is ongoing that the ghost pensioners were removed from the payroll in December 2016 because their accounts were not connected to any BVN numbers.
According to her, when we took the ghost pensioners out of the payroll, there was no much outcry and only a few were actually genuine cases and they were put back on the payroll,” she said.
Speaking further, she said that the present verification which is taking place simultaneously will not end there as the process is continuous, adding that pensioners can visit their office in Abuja and Kaduna to complete their verification.
“New Nigerian Newspapers is a special case, we have less than 700 pensioners in New Nigerian. We are doing it batch by batch. We are expecting 998 pensioners in Kaduna from the three agencies and about 5,000 in total.
“We are conducting the entire verification for civil servants, police, parastatals and paramilitary. Civil service verification is expected to be concluded in 2018. We just began that of parastatals and hope to conclude it in 2018.
“After the verification, there would be computation then after four months they would be on the payroll because it has to go through audit process before payment is made electronically. We maintain a TSA account with CBN and pensioners are paid from that account through e-payment,” she said.
On the success of the ongoing verification, she said that well-articulated planning is making it successful. She, however, warned pensioners without BVN number to get one linked with their account as they cannot be paid without the BVN number. “We don’t have challenges because we planned and strategized ahead to have a seamless and smooth exercise.”