PTAD Pays NICON Insurance, Delta Steel Pension Liabilities with N7.5bn

By Dwelleth Morountodun

The Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, on Thursday said Federal Government has completed liquidation of the outstanding 56 months of inherited pension liabilities for NICON Insurance and Delta Steel with N7,053,150,468.14

Addressing representatives of Pensioners, Journalists and other stakeholders at PTAD’s Corporate Headquarters in Maitama, Abuja, Dr. Ejikeme said the development signposts another landmark in the management of defunct agency pensioners.

She said: “In February 2017, PTAD received directives from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to take over the management of pensions and severance benefit liabilities of ex-workers of some defunct and privatized agencies, including Delta Steel Company, NICON Insurance PLC, Savannah Sugar Company, NITEL/MTEL, Aluminum Smelter Company, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), among others.”

According to her, these agencies were commercial entities of the Federal Government that were either privatized or liquidated under the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE): 1999-2005 public enterprises privatization and commercialization reform.

She admitted that the exercise resulted in the disengagement of a considerable number of public sector employees.

Ejikeme, said when PTAD was given the directive to on-board pensioners from these agencies, they were inherited with unpaid monthly pension and with pension arrears ranging from 84 to 219 months while some of the agencies entitled to one-off payments had not been paid, explaining further that PTAD did not receive any pension funds or assets to meet the huge unfunded liabilities inherited from these agencies.

She said, “Despite this enormous challenge, the Directorate worked assiduously to verify, validate, compute and enroll most of these ex-workers for monthly pension. One-off payments were made as appropriate to those whose severance benefits were so structured.

“Since 2017, PTAD has been liquidating the unfunded pension liabilities of these agencies. You may all recall that as at December 2021, PTAD had completely liquidated the inherited pension liabilities for New Nigerian Newspapers, the Nigerian Re-Insurance Corporation, made one-off payments to Savannah Sugar, the Aluminum Smelter Company beneficiaries and their next of kin and also Nigerian Aviation handling Company beneficiaries and their Next of Kin and had settled some months of arrears for others.

She commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his political will in brining up to speed the payment and making it a top priority of his administration.

The PTAD boss also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives oversighting pensions and the Budget Office.

On the achievements made by PTAD, she added that government is demonstrating the unalloyed and irrevocable commitment to enhance the welfare of Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) pensioners.

She recalled that the inherited unfunded liabilities for these defunct agencies at inception was over N95,000,000,000, adding that currently these defunct agencies have a total monthly pension bill of N2,298,893,321.08 and an annual bill of N62,073,219,358.32 representing 44% of the total monthly/annual pension bill of the Parastatal Pension Department.

“As at today, we have settled a total of over N39 billion of the inherited N95 billion with N3.4 billion of this amount making up one-off payments. These payments are ongoing.

“I had earlier and on several occasions assured our esteemed pensioners from the defunct and privatized agencies that PTAD was working tirelessly to ensure their retirement and severance benefits were paid as soon as possible. I am glad that these efforts are now yielding results, and I must commend our pensioners for their patience and support all these years.

In addition to the payments being announced today, PTAD has successfully implemented the following in the last few years of its existence: Continued to regularly pay monthly pensions to our pensioners without fail. Made payment of over N8.5 billion as accumulated arrears of pensions and Gratuities to Pensioners of the Civil Service Pension Department and the Next-of-Kin of deceased pensioners through the Expanded Computation Project.

Payment which is still ongoing: Got approval to onboard Ex-workers of Assurance Bank and Nigeria National Shipping Line on monthly payroll.

  • Completed the payment of 126 months of Inherited Liabilities due to Ex-workers of the Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation
  • Completed the payment of the 219 months of Inherited Liabilities to Ex-workers of New Nigeria Newspaper Limited
  • Completed the payment of the One-Off payment to 603 verified Ex-workers of the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON)
  • Made one-off payment to 620 Ex-workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO)
  • Implemented the 9.7% increment to Ex-PHCN workers with attendant arrears paid.
  • Made payment of the arrears owed to the War-Affected Police Officers since their pardon in 2000.
  • Undertook the full payment of 33% pension arrears to Civil Service, Police, Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensioners, which had been outstanding since the year 2010.
  • Obtained approval to verify the Defined Benefit Scheme Pensioners of the Bank of Agriculture and place them on the payroll, which is ongoing.

With the liquidation of these inherited liabilities, she said the burden keeps getting lighter, and we will continue to work with all the relevant agencies to ensure that all accrued pension arrears are fully liquidated, especially the 63 months of inherited pension liability owed to the ex-workers of NITEL/MTEL and their Next-of-Kin which we will continue with soon.

On the: “I Am Alive” Confirmation Solution, that was launched last year, she said the Directorate has concluded plans for the full roll-out of the “I Am Alive” confirmation solution, which is the way forward in terms of pensioners’ aliveness validation under the Defined Benefit Scheme.

“The “I AM Alive” Confirmation Solution is a web-based solution that we have designed and launched to enable our pensioners easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood using either a smartphone or a computer system.”

According to her, the solution eliminates the risk and stress involved in travelling to various locations for field verifications, and demonstrates PTAD’s desire to make life easier for our senior citizens and ensure that they continue to enjoy their retirement without stress, explaining that the roll-out of the “I Am Alive” Confirmation solution will be announced soon.

The PTAD boss, said: “In the last nine years of PTAD’s existence, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate has been proactively, intentionally and effectively changing the narrative as far as Defined Benefit Pension administration is concerned.”

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