FG uncovers 24,000 ghost pensioners

FG uncovers 24,000 ghost pensioners

- The federal govt has dropped 24,000 ghost pensioners from the pension pay roll, following its verification exercise

- The govt also uncovered fraudulent activities by families of some deceased retirees, who continued to withdraw monies from their accounts

- Instead of defrauding government of monthly pension, next of kin’s have been advised to put in their death claims so they’ll be paid

The Pension Transitional Directorate (PTAD) on Tuesday, August 6 said the federal government spent over N5 billion on payment of monthly pension to about 300,000 retirees of 270 parastatals and government privatised agencies.

The directorate also dropped 24,000 ghost pensioners from the pension pay roll at the end of its verification exercise conducted in 2017, NAN reports.

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Legit.ng gathers that PTAD’s executive secretary, Sharon Ikeazor, made the disclosure while speaking with journalists on the sideline of the ongoing fourth phase of pensioner verification in Maiduguri, the Borno state.

Mrs Ikeazor, a minister-designate, disclosed that the amount was spent on payment of pension monthly to retirees in the 270 agencies under its supervision.

She said the directorate also uncovered fraudulent activities by families of some deceased retirees, who continued to withdraw monies from their accounts without notifying the agency over their demise.

Mrs Ikeazor noted that prelude to the verification, the agency received several notifications over the death of retirees, who died since 2012 and their pensions were still running.

The secretary lamented that the trend caused great loss to government and pledged to check the problem through the verification exercise.

“The verification gives us greater accountability to know we are paying the right pensioners.

“At the end of the exercise, pensioners could verify themselves from the comfort of their homes that they are still alive so that we stop payment to the deceased without denying rightful pensioners their monies because of the unscrupulous ones.

“Let the Next of Kin (NoK) of the deceased put in their death claims and we will pay them instead of defrauding government of monthly pension,” she said.

Mrs Ikeazor explained that the verification exercise was designed to address anomalies and complaints, to ensure accurate, reliable and transparency in pension administration.

She added that the agency was collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), security agencies and pension unions, to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise.

According to her, the verification exercise is designed to capture retirees in 270 agencies including universities; tertiary education and health institutions as well as Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Other agencies included Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Nigeria Postal Service (NPS), Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Nigerian National Shipping Line and Assurance Bank, among others.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the promotion of 2,932 senior civil servants in the Federal Civil Service under the 2018 directorate level promotion exercise was approved by the federal government.

This was announced in a circular by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) with reference no: FC.6243/GOV/2018/VOL.ll/341 dated 5th August, 2019 and titled, “Promotion of Officers on SGL. 14 to 15, SGL. 15 to 16 and SGL.16 to 17 in the Federal Civil Service with effect from 01/01/2018”.

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Source: Legit

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