The attention of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has been drawn to an online feature by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) on January 28th,2024 with the caption “EXPOSED: FG PAYS OVER N900 MILLION INTO PRIVATE ACCOUNTS IN 3MONTHS”. Under the subheading “MORE THAN N300 MILLION PAID INTO PRIVATE ACCOUNTS IN OCTOBER” wherein FIJ stated “different private individuals were the beneficiaries of these payments.”

We want to state categorically that the report is malicious, reeks of mischief and a blatant misrepresentation of facts.

For the record, PTAD, as a wholly treasury-funded agency, pays  over Nine Billion Naira(₦9bn) monthly into the individual pension accounts of about two hundred and twenty thousand (220,000)pensioners of the Federal Civil Service, Police, Customs, Immigration and Correctional Services, and Treasury-Funded Parastatals as pension, and has continued to make sure that every pensioner receives their pension entitlements, like unpaid arrears, subject to the validation of their claims and availability of funds from the Federal Government.

It should also be clearly noted that PTAD pays pension entitlements into individual pensioners’ accounts, and not corporate accounts or joint accounts, in line with extant pension laws. The private individual accounts listed in the FIJ feature do not belong PTAD staff or any Government Official, but belong to verified pensioners from the Civil Service and Parastatals Pension Departments on PTAD database who after verification and re-validation of the pensioners’ career documents were paid their pension arrears for the period owed.

Mr Hyginus Ogbonnaya Olumba, a verified Civil Service Pension Department (CSPD) Pensioner currently receiving monthly pension was paid N5,104,375.10 as accumulated pension arrears covering from 2007 till 2023.

Similarly, Mr. Osinowo Adekunle Olugbenro and Mrs Juliana Okwuchi Agbasiere both verified Parastatals Pension Department (PaPD) Pensioners currently receiving monthly pensions were paid N5,135,442.58 and N6,031,907.68 respectively as accumulated pension arrears covering from 2020 till 2023.

Between the months of September and October  2023, PTAD paid N846.1m and N1bn in accrued arrears to some pensioners of the Civil Service and Parastatals Pension Departments respectively. This information can readily be found on PTAD website and various news platforms.

However, in line with the security, data and privacy protection, PTAD does not publish private details of our pensioners or of monthly pension or accumulated pension payments made to pensioners.

It is indeed obvious from the details provided in this feature, that the information published by Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is grossly misleading, malicious, and a misrepresentation of facts. It is indeed unfortunate that the online journal did not make any effort to get the opinion of PTAD in consonance with the tenets of balanced & fair reporting that true journalism entails. In their bid to be sensational, they have only succeeded in putting the security and lives of aged pensioners at risk.

Finally, we would like to enjoin all Pensioners, the Pensioners’ Union and all other related Stakeholders, including the media, to continue to work with the Directorate towards ensuring that the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme of the Federal Government continues to benefit all eligible pensioners in a fair and equitable manner as envisioned by the founding fathers that initiated the reforms of the Pension Sector that led to the establishment of PTAD and brought in the positive changes and outcomes that have been achieved over the last ten years.

Head, Corporate Communications
February 2, 2024