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The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD on Thursday revealed that it presently has on its pension payroll 303 ex-Biafran Police Officers.
Dr. Chioma Ejikeme who is the Executive Secretary of PTAD, made this disclosure while fielding questions from State House correspondents when she featured at the 58th edition of media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, at the State House, Abuja.
When quizzed about how many ex-Biafran police officers have been captured in the pension and if the ex-Biafran soldiers are included in the pension, she said:
‘Well, we call them ‘war affected’, they are the policemen who served on the Biafran side during the Civil War. Currently, we have 303 of them on our payroll; 303 currently.
‘Yes, you were asking about soldiers. The soldiers, they belong to the military pension. So, if there’s any such arrangement, it will be handled by the Military Pensions Board, not by Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
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‘We don’t take care of soldiers. We only take care of the paramilitary and the police; that’s the Customs, Immigration, and the Services pensioners and the police. There is a Military Pensions Board that takes care of soldiers. So they might be in a better position to give you the answer to what you’re looking for.’
The Executive Secretary said that since the inception of PTAD, it has maintained regular monthly payments of pension as and when due without fail, adding that “from January 2015 to December 2021, PTAD has paid N610 billion in monthly pensions.”
She said the Directorate has paid long outstanding arrears to pensioners across all the pension departments, most significantly, the huge arrears inherited from the defunct privatized agencies.
Dr. Ejikeme said PTAD inherited 268,897 pensioners on payrolls of the old Pension Office at inception but through certification, it has created a centralized database complete with pensioners personal information, biometrics and career documents, adding that after verification, as at October 2022, 226,328 pensioners are on the payroll.
She also said that 242,894 pensioners were verified between 2015 and 2019 and that 49,409 people were removed from the payroll between 2015 and 2022, while 40,918 were reinstated to payroll between 2015 and 2022.
She mentioned some of the defunct privatized agencies that have been paid to include, NAHCO which has been liquidated and has 661paid in a one-off-payment, ALSCON also liquidated and 1031. Pensioners paid in a one-off-payment.
Others are Savanna Bank, 1,596 pensioners in a one-off-payment and liquidated, Nigeria National Shipping Line which has 552 pensioners with inherited arrears 92 months but has been liquidated, Delta Steel with 3,657 pensioners and 96 months inherited arrears but now liquidated and Nitel/Mtel which has its 11,239 pensioners with inherited 84 months arrears and 21 months paid leaving a balance of 63 months among others.
On the implementation of the Consequential Pension Adjustment arising from minimum wage increase in 2019, Dr. Ejikeme said the result is an average minimum pension of N8,638.74 as against about N500 in the past.