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PTAD offsets pensions of Nigeria Reinsurance, New Nigeria ex-workers

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
22 December 2021   |   4:03 am
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has offset the retirement benefits of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation and New Nigeria Newspapers.

[FILES]

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has offset the retirement benefits of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation and New Nigeria Newspapers.

PTAD inherited 126 months of arrears of the Reinsurance Corporation and 219 arrears of New Nigeria, which had been liquidated by the Directorate.

The Executive Secretary of the Directorate, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, who disclosed this during the payment of accrued pension arrears to pensioners of the defunct agencies in Abuja, said apart from settling the arrears of the retired staff of the defunct organisations, PTAD will also settle a significant portion of the outstanding liabilities due to the ex-workers of NICON Insurance Corporation, Delta Steel Company Limited and NITEL/MTEL.

She explained that the pension liabilities that are slated for payment accumulated from October 2018 and therefore represent the unfunded pension liabilities that were due to the pensioners at the time the Directorate inherited them.

She reassured the pensioners of NICON Insurance Corporation, Delta Steel Company Limited and NITEL/MTEL that the Directorate is fully committed to the full liquidation of the outstanding arrears due to them.

“As we have reiterated over time, we will continue to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Finance and other relevant government agencies to achieve this objective as quickly as possible,” she explained.

Ejikeme noted that the Directorate did not inherit any pension assets from the defunct/privatised agencies to help offset the liabilities at the time of take-over, saying, “it has therefore been through the unflinching commitment and support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Committees of both the Senate on Establishment and Public Service, House of Representatives Committee on Pensions, the other oversight committees of the National Assembly and the commitment of the President to the welfare of pensioners that the Directorate has been able to continuously pay the monthly pensions of the ex-workers from 2018 to date.”

She revealed that PTAD had been able to pay benefits from savings realized in the course of pension administration within the year.

She further added PTAD has paid off the outstanding balance of the severance benefits or pension entitlements due to ex-workers of Savannah Sugar Company Limited, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company, Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, Federal Housing Authority, Nigeria National Shipping Line and Assurance Bank.

Her words: “The funds that will be utilized to make these payments is from the recoveries made from the liquidation of the Federal Government pension investments with the Crown Agents Limited of the United Kingdom and other pension assets recovered from various Insurance Underwriters to date. PTAD is still striving to recover the remaining pension funds identified under the Insurance Underwriters. You will all recall that I had earlier this year announced the successful recovery of a little over N15 billion from the Crown Agents of the United Kingdom. I also indicated that once the necessary approvals have been received, the recovered funds would be disbursed towards further liquidation and/or reduction of the Directorate’s unfunded pension liabilities.”

Meanwhile, the Directorate has suspended the walk-in verification of Pensioners at its Abuja headquarters and state liaison offices from December 15, 2021, till January 18, 2022, for all pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).

It said the suspension will affect pensioners under the Civil Service Pension Department (CSPD), the Police Pensions Department (PPD) and the Customs, Immigration, Prisons Pension Department (CIPPD) and Parastatal Pension Department (PaPD).