The on-going pensioners verification exercise by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, has revealed 15,000 ghost pensioners, an indication that massive frauds still exist in the Defined Pension Scheme of the Federal Government.
According to the Director-General of PTAD, Mrs. Nellie Mayshak, who spoke at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, yesterday, managing the scheme in the past one year “was very rough” but said her team was determined to give pensioners a new lease of life.
She said there was no alternative to a permanent verification exercise to be sure that pension was paid to genuine beneficiaries.
Mayshak disclosed that in its efforts to clean up the system, her team felt that the data presented by various pension offices were “too bogus” and that when it started it decided to verify 771 pensioners in the Police Pension, her office discovered that they were only 237, existing: “We really have to clean up the data.
“We will do verification but we are doing it differently. You don’t need to join queues and under the scorching sun; you don’t need to bring mats and all that. In fact, you don’t need to come to Abuja. We will come to you. We treat pensioners with dignity.
“We are on the cutting edge of ICT. You can fill out the complaint form on the Internet from the comfort of your living room or call our hotline and we will attend to you, promptly, without your travelling to Abuja.”
Mayshak said there was a total of about 350,000 pensioners that needed to be verified in the on-going exercise.
Addressing the pensioners, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said regular payment of pensions was a priority of the present administration.
She said: “President Goodluck Jonathan shares the feelings of our senior citizens and directed that they be treated with dignity. Consequently, we had to take actions to make sure that the pains which was associated with pensions does not continue.