FORMAL HANDING OVER OF LANDED PROPERTIES IN LIEU OF CASH…
REMARKS BY SHARON O. IKEAZOR, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, PENSION TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENT DIRECTORATE (PTAD) AT THE FORMAL HANDING OVER OF LANDED PROPERTIES IN LIEU OF CASH PAYMENT AS LEGACY FUNDS BY NICON INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED
I am delighted to be here today on this occasion for the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate and NICON Insurance Limited for the formal handing over and transfer of landed properties in lieu of cash payment as legacy funds in the Custody of NICON Insurance Company Limited.
As you are all aware, the Pension Reform Act, 2014 vested all pension assets, funds and liabilities in PTAD. Following the consolidation of treasury funded parastatals’ pension by PTAD in August, 2015, the Federal Government discontinued the release of pension intervention funds to insurance companies. It is in fulfilment of its mandate under the Act, that PTAD has taken over the administration of Legacy Pension Funds and assets in the custody of insurance companies and Boards of Trustees of treasury funded Parastatals, and has directed the concerned companies to transfer all Legacy Funds and assets in their custody to PTAD. In compliance with the directives, some Insurance Companies and Pension Boards of Trustees have transferred funds and assets to PTAD.
As at the time I assumed office in October, 2016, the Federal Government was yet to recover the legacy pension assets and funds worth over N23 Billion in the custody of the insurance companies. So far, over N880 Million has been recovered within the last six months bringing the total recovery to N5.6bn.
We have issued Demand Notices on the Insurance Companies involved, for the transfer of these outstanding funds into our dedicated e-Collection account with the CBN. Till date, it is only Leadway Assurance Limited, Custodian Life Assurance Limited, LASACO Assurance Plc and African Alliance Insurance Plc that honoured our demand notices by transferring all or part of the outstanding funds in custody to the Directorate.
It has become imperative to call on other concerned Insurance Companies still holding unto legacy funds to transfer them to PTAD without further delay. The intendment of the Federal Government in releasing these funds is to grow them for the prompt payment of pension to pensioners.
NICON Insurance managed the pension of over 50 Parastatals and Agencies under the Defined Benefit Scheme. Today, NICON has joined the league of responding Insurance Companies in transferring the ownership of fixed assets to PTAD in lieu of cash payment as evidenced by the MOU we are executing today. We shall, as a matter of urgency and on the strength of the MOU formally takeover, free from encumbrances, the properties which are listed and described under the Schedule to the MOU in lieu of cash payment at a value to be determined by both parties as Legacy Funds and assets in the custody of NICON Insurance which it held in trust for pensioners.
Today’s event is both symbolic of Government’s intolerance to the delay in the transfer of the legacy funds to PTAD and a warning signal that the wheel of justice may begin to roll much faster towards achieving higher level of compliance. The Directorate will in collaboration with the NAICOM, ICPC, EFCC and Ministry of Finance continue to enforce the right of pensioners towards the early recovery of legacy funds within the next 18 months towards defraying Government’s liabilities arising from the non-payment of pensions.
I must commend NICON Insurance and indeed all the other insurance companies for their responses.
I want to assure you that that PTAD would strive to sustain professionalism, integrity, honesty, transparency and accountability.
I thank you all for listening.