It also claimed that 38,000 pensioners had received their accrued harmonised arrears just as another 50,000, who retired since 1968 had received their entitlements.
The PRTT spokesperson, Mr. Hassan Salihu, who said this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, claimed that the team, which came into being in 2010, “inherited massive non-payment of pensioners from the former pension administrators, who were siphoning an average of about N4bn monthly”.
He said, “The PRTT has so far paid over 38,000 genuine pensioners their accrued harmonised arrears, which is the first in the history of governance in Nigeria that all pensioners are being paid. Also over 50,000 pensioners who were hitherto denied pensions since retirement as far back as 1968 have been pay rolled by the PRTT and since been paid their accrued arrears and are now collecting their monthly pensions.”
According to him, the siphoning of N4bn monthly by previous pension administrators has resulted in a situation where federal civil service pensioners are deprived of their pensions.
Salihu said, “That was the main reason for the large number of complaints that PRTT has been confronted with. Thus, since PRTT came in June 2010, there has been payment of regular monthly pension promptly; except for November and December 2012 that the HoS Pension Office hijacked the preparation of the monthly pension. Hence, 95 per cent of pensioners have been grossly omitted and grossly underpaid.”
The PRTT spokesman, who said the team had been receiving complaints from pensioners, noted however that the unit was addressing their cases.
Salihu said, “PRTT has compiled so far a list over 1,600 pensioners’ arrears for payment before the end of January, 2013. At anytime, PRTT has a complaint, it treats on merit and pensioners are instantly paid.”
On the task team’s modus operandi, he stated that it uses its Electronic Pension Management system to settle all its transactions to pensioners.
Salihu said, “The bank statement of a pensioner covering the period of complaints will be accessed by the complaints Unit. From there, the Computation Unit takes over and calculates all entitlements and it is then sent to the Audit Unit and from there to ICT Unit for input into EPMS platform and finally to the Head of Service of the Federation for approval of payment by various banks.”
Asked the number of pensioners that have yet to be paid, he said, “It is not possible to state the exact number because it is a continuous job”.