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Politics

Spare PTAD in Oronsaye report implementation, Pensioners’ union urges Tinubu

Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) pensioners under the national umbrella body: Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN), have called on President Bola Tinubu to allow the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to continue existing as an agency that oversees pension issues of all DBS pensioners to avoid reinstitution of corruption, another round of harsh treatment and more untimely death of pensioners.

According to the pensioners’ union, the establishment of PTAD changed the narrative of DBS pension management in Nigeria for good and provided a lifeline for the pensioners of their category. FEPPPAN added that pensioners claimed they were maltreated, lost many members, and their pension fraudulently stolen by government personnel who managed pensions before PTAD came. “We don’t want anything close to that again, let alone go back to that era under any circumstances.”

Titled “Scrapping PTAD is tantamount to sending pensioners back to hell and earlier grave,” FEPPPAN in a statement jointly signed by its Acting President-General and General Secretary, Alhaji Babaji Magaji, and Franklin O. Erinle, respectively, and made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, said all pensioners under PTAD payroll have been traumatized since they received the news of scrapping the agency. It therefore pleads with President Tinubu to spare PTAD, noting that the services it renders are saving and prolonging the lives of pensioners, thereby delivering benefits of good governance to the retirees.

“What happened to pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) before the creation of PTAD was purely “man’s inhumanity to man.” It was the era when some pensioners died either during verification exercises or on their way home after the exercise. That was because of the harsh treatment they were subjected to. Many of those charged with the responsibility of paying pensions then fed themselves fat with pension funds and starved the pensioners. This resulted in irregular payments of monthly pensions and other benefits of the pensioners. We urge Mr. President not to send us back to the ugly past.

“One of the best things that happened to pensioners under PTAD is the seamless process of verification. It is verification made easy, online, and in the comfort of our locations, whether in Nigeria or outside it; anywhere in the world. Next to this is the regular and fairly prompt payments of monthly pensions. Even pensioners of defunct organizations who never imagined that they would receive pension before they die have also benefited from the hard work of PTAD. For the first time in many years, pensioners feel recognized and respected compared with what they experienced in the past.

“Our lives were by 80% prolonged when the government created an agency whose sole responsibility was to take care of Defined Benefit Scheme pensioners and other related issues. We don’t want, once again, to face the challenge of being under government body that has many other duties and responsibilities. Such government body is most likely going to naturally worsen things for us.

“We passionately appeal to Mr. President to please see pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) like terminally sick people who have now been transferred to a hospice rather than to a hospital.

“Please, sir, allow us live and die under a system that we find conducive and which we have accepted rather than exposing us to a new system that will task us further. We are not saying you should not merge agencies to cut cost of governance but PTAD is such an important agency that the adverse effect of scrapping it will be anything but a worst situation that could be demonic and evil for us.

“Rather than scrapping PTAD, Mr. President Should please continue to support the agency to pay pensions regularly and promptly,” the statement, added.

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