The attention of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has been drawn to a misleading statement allegedly issued by representatives of Ex-workers of Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) insinuating that PTAD had deliberately delayed their enrolment into the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and thereby frustrating the payment of N3 billion pension arrears owed to its members. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To correct this false impression, we would like to state that the issue of enrolling pensioners of defunct/privatized agencies was part of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment towards lifting pensioners, who had hitherto been neglected for over a decade, out of poverty.

This policy saw to the enrolment of pensioners of Delta Steel Company, NICON Insurance, Nigeria Reinsurance, New Nigerian Newspapers and NITEL/MTEL, all agencies that were either privatized or liquidated by previous governments without contingency safety nets for the thousands of their hardworking Nigerian employees. Plans are already underway for the verification and subsequent enrolment of qualified Ex-workers of Savannah Sugar Company, Aluminum Smelter Company, Nigerian National Shipping Line and others as approved by the Honorable Minister of Finance (HMF).

In the case of NNSL, the approval for enrolment was received in April 2018, several months after the first set of agencies was approved.

It is worthy of note, that the Directorate’s pre-verification exercise for pensioners is a long and painstaking inter-ministerial process that requires the collection of data and digitization of documents. Most significantly, it requires getting the authentic salary structure of the agency concerned, which in the case of NNSL wasn’t an easy feat. When PTAD eventually got a response in that regard from the Federal Ministry of Transport, representatives of the Union, whom the Directorate had been actively engaging with all along, declared the document incomplete saying that it didn’t include the salary structure of its Seamen, though PTAD is yet to receive any formal information from Federal Ministry of Transport regarding that allusion.

It is important to state that, the Directorate has to date verified and put on monthly pension payroll, a total of 16,873 pensioners of the following seven (7) defunct/privatized agencies, and this is not including a total of 759 Next of Kins (NoK) of deceased pensioners of these defunct agencies that had equally been paid their departed breadwinner’s final entitlements:

1. NITEL/MTEL                                                     10,801
2. Delta Steel Company                                        3,593
3. NICON Insurance                                                949
4. Nigeria Reinsurance                                            292
5. New Nigeria Newspapers                                    507
6. Nigerian Defense Academy (Civilians)                 79
7. Federal Housing Authority                                 652

Therefore contrary to the unfortunate statement ascribed to certain representatives of Ex-workers of NNSL, preparation for the verification of all treasury funded parastatals, including NNSL, has been completed and the exercise will commence shortly across the country. The program schedule will also be released by the Directorate soon.

We therefore assure all pensioners that are yet to be verified that succor will soon come their way in conformity with the President’s commitment to improve the welfare of all Nigerian pensioners, especially those neglected by previous administrations.

Sharon Ikeazor
Executive Secretary,
Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD)