Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor on Tuesday said the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the federal government has brought to an end, all forms of abuses and misappropriation of pension funds in the civil service.
She added that the ongoing verification exercise for federal service pensioners across the country will be the last time it would be conducted as the agency seeks to rely on biometric data to make payments henceforth.
The verification exercise is ongoing in South West states including Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States.
Speaking to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Ikeazor said it would be the last time a physical verification is conducted for pensioners- most of whom are now too weak and aged to withstand the rigours of the exercise.
Rather, she said the federal government will now rely on biometrics, the bank verification number (BVN) and individual attestation with an innovative ‘I’m Alive’ platform created by the agency to credit pensioners’ accounts.
She hopes the secure platforms to verify payment will outlive her tenure and wipe out corruption in pension administration.
However, she promised that verified pensioners with receive their payments within the next four months.
Ikeazor said: “PTAD does not keep money in commercial banks, we are a treasury funded agency- so all the money that is budgetted for and given to PTAD is in the TSA account; what we do is to raise the electronic vouchers in PTAD and the pensioners get their payment directly into their accounts; there’s no more paying of cheques, there’s no more handling of physical cash for payment of pensions. So all the pensioners wait for is the alert which they call they melody and that’s why they said PTAD is a melody.”
She said PTAD had inherited a data system which “we cannot verify that data because you had a lot of people either on over payments or under payments.”
“Again, last year December, we had to look through our data base to sanitise it and we found 15,600 bank accounts without BVN and that presupposes that they are ghost pensioners.”
“As you can see our process here, the pensioner must be physically present: we take his biometrics and photograph and their BVN and we know they are our pensioners.
“But for those who can’t be physically here, we also go to them and do the mobile verification either in their hospital beds or in their homes.”