© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
FG Flushes Out 15,000 Ghost Pensioners, Saves N2.1b
Adedayo Ogunleye, Abuja
By identifying and expelling 15,000 ghost pensioners, the federal government has succeeded in saving N2.1 billion in the last eight months, the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has disclosed.
The minister, who spoke at the first Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, stakeholders’ forum in Abuja on Thursday, stated that the establishment of the PTAD as an independent agency responsible for the management of federal pensions under the defined benefit scheme made this feat possible.
Expressing appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for his unflinching commitment to on-going pension reforms in the country, Okonjo-Iweala said the significant savings recorded by the PTAD was made possible by the agency’s reliance on technology, which aided the identification and removal of over 15,000 duplicate or ghost pensioners from its payroll, as well as its commitment to entrench world class financial management practices in the administration of pension funds in the country.
According to the minister, the recent successes recorded in the pension reforms programme have enabled the government to include an additional 1,354 pensioners from three liquidated steel rolling mills to be pay-rolled.
Noting that Nigeria’s pensions system had been rendered largely inefficient over the years through inefficient payment processes, grand fraud and looting, Okonjo-Iweala stated that it was this that necessitated the establishment of the PTAD to consolidate all federal pension departments to plug all leakages.
“In light of the widespread fraud that was revealed and his commitment to the welfare of pensioners, President Goodluck Jonathan took bold steps to consolidate pension management reforms and clean up the mess in the system,” the minister stated.
A toll free call centre designated to enable pensioners get easy access to information on their pensions, and to enable the PTAD get feedback from all its stakeholders on its operations in the past year was launched during the event.