- PTAD Pays Pensioners N102.8bn in 15 Months
Between January 2018 and March 2019, a total of N102.82bn was paid by the Federal Government through the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department to pensioners in the public sector.
The Executive Secretary, PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this in a speech delivered at the agency’s North Central stakeholders forum on Thursday, in Abuja.
She said that the release of the fund to pensioners was a demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to make life easier for pensioners.
A breakdown of the figure showed that the highest amount of N59.97bn was utilised to fund Parastatal Pension Department in the 15-month period. Out of this amount, the sum of N45.05bn was utilised in 2018 while the balance of N14.92bn was spent in the first quarter of this year.
For Civil Servants Pension Department, the sum of N26.4bn was released during the period made up of N21.21bn for 2018 and N5.19bn for the first three months of this year.
The agency also utilised the sum of N8.64bn for pension payment to Customs, Immigration and Prisons Service, out of which N6.81bn was for 2018 while the balance of N1.84bn was utilised in the first quarter of this year.
For Police pension, the sum of N7.78bn was released, out of which N6.12bn was utilised in 2018 while the balance of N1.65bn was for the first quarter of 2019.
Ikeazor described the 2018 fiscal period as a very busy year for PTAD, adding that the agency had made significant progress in ensuring regular payments of pension to retirees.
She said, “2018 was a busy year at PTAD and we dare say a successful one too. Pension payments have been regular and up-to-date.
“We concluded the Civil Service Pension Department verification and commenced the verification of the Parastatal Pension Department pensioners, starting with the defunct agencies.
“We made significant progress on the payment of the long outstanding 33 per cent arrears, which we are hopeful will soon be a thing of the past.
“Incidents of pension fraud are on the decline as we continue to create awareness and partner with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to arrest and prosecute fraudsters.”
On the issue of minimum wage, she said that once the bill is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, it would also result in an increase in pension payment.
She said, “PTAD is working closely with all relevant agencies of government towards improved turnaround on monthly pension payment.
“The issue of increment will apply automatically once the minimum wage bill is passed into law.”
Ikeazor said that the future plans of the agency would be implemented from three main strategic priorities.
According to her, the areas to be prioritiesed are strengthening of PTAD’s institutional framework using technology; prudent and efficient resources management and sustained optimal pensioner satisfaction.
On the issue of funding, she said, “Funding to address our obligations to all our pensioners is a recurring challenge.
“We will continue to forge ahead as we have done in previous years. We are fortunate to have an administration that identifies with our vision to provide innovative and sustainable pension services to our pensioners.
“It is on this assurance that we have developed our strategic plans for the coming years.”
The Chairman, National Union of Pensioners, Dr Abel Afolayan, called on PTAD to quickly offset the 33 per cent arrears of retirees under the Parastatal Pension Department.
He said that while PTAD had been making efforts to address complaints made by pensioners, such issues were not being addressed speedily.
He commended the Federal Government for putting smiles on the faces of pensioners through prompt release of funds, noting that in his 29 years as a pensioner, he had never had it that good.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said that the meeting had provided a platform for resolution of the grey areas being faced in the payment of pensions to retirees.
Represented at the event by the Director, Legal, Mr Gabriel Christopher, the minister said that the Federal Government would continue to take the issue of pension as a priority.
She commended PTAD on the way it had managed the payment of pension to Federal Government retirees under the old scheme, adding that the strategy had assisted in addressing issues of irregular payment of pension, non-receipt of pension after retirement and pension fraud.
Meanwhile, PTAD said it had concluded arrangements for the Parastatals verification exercise of 104,133 pensioners and next of kin of 270 federal funded parastatals, agencies and institutions under the Defined Benefit Scheme.
The exercise, according to a statement, would take place across the six geopolitical zones and Lagos.
Stanbic IBTC Appoints Mrs. Sola David-Borha as Non-Executive Director
Mrs. Sola David-Borha is Stanbic IBTC Non-Executive Director
Stanbic IBTC board on Thursday announced the appointment of Mrs. Sola David-Borha as a non-executive director effective from 24 September 2020.
The lender disclosed this in a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
In the statement signed by Chidi Okezie, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC, the lender said the appointment is subject to regulatory approvals.
According to the bank, “Mrs. David- Borha is currently the Chief Executive, Standard Bank (Africa Regions). Prior to that, she served as Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (2012-2017) as well as the Bank (2011-2012), after holding various executive positions in Corporate Banking; Corporate & Investment Banking; and Investment Banking Coverage for Africa (excluding South Africa). She is also an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of CocaCola Hellenic Bottling Company.
“Mrs. David-Borha has had an extensive career in the financial services industry, which has spanned over 30 years. Her executive educational experience includes the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School and the Global CEO Program of CEIBS, Wharton and IESE. She is an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and winner of the CNBC African Woman of the Year Award for 2016.
“The Board is pleased to welcome Mrs. David-Borha back to the Board of the Company and will undoubtedly continue to benefit immensely from her wealth of experience.”
Lagos Introduces Fuel Station on Inland Waterways to Enhance Ferry Operations
Lagos State Waterways Intrdouces Fuel Station for Ferries Operators
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Tuesday said it has introduced the first-ever fuel state on the Lagos inland waterways.
The fuel station was introduced to boost activities across Lagos waterways and increase transportation activities, according to a statement released by Nkechi Ajayi, the Public Relations Officer, LASWA.
Speaking at the five cowries terminal in Lagos during an event, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General manager, LASWA, lauded the fueling station project, adding that it would boost ferry operators’ activities and help them expand.
Emmanuel was quoted as saying “This project is significant to us at LASWA being a responsible agency of government.
“We are concerned about the hardship and occasional harassment usually faced by ferry operators while using jerry cans to get fuel from filling stations to run their boats.
“With the opening of this fuel pump unit to serve both commercial and private boat owners, the safety of lives and property on the Lagos waterways will be greatly enhanced.
“To further promote the safety of all waterways users, we urge boat operators to desist from moving fuel with kegs.”
Why N-power Beneficiaries Should be Retained Permanently
N-power Beneficiaries Must and Should be Retained Permanently
Poorly paid with little to zero job securities and economic provisions, thousands of Nigerian graduates and non-graduates continue to enroll for the social investment program, N-power, established by the Federal Government in 2016 to alleviate poverty and support the vulnerable.
However, two years later the program is experiencing a downturn with the government planning to throw beneficiaries (batches A and B) of the program back into the street despite the nation’s unemployment rate at a record high of 27.1 percent.
Participants, proudly referred to as beneficiaries by the government and its agents, have had to endure delays in inhumane stipends that can barely meet their daily needs to undefined or uncertain exit package plans for the participants of the program.
Despite all the limitations faced by volunteers, supervisors in schools and other places of assignments have said N-power beneficiaries played key roles in addressing a lot of their existing challenges and on numerous occasions and they have occasioned a new growth direction.
According to a Senior Special Adviser to the President on job creation, “What we have found out is that they are filling a lot of gaps in some places like schools, where they do not have enough teachers.In some schools where the N-Power are posted to, you discovered that it is only the principal and some NYSC members that are teaching students, the Npower teachers have helped to compliment their efforts.”
In Ekiti, a 34-year-old veteran teacher explained that “If not all of them, a majority of the N-Power teachers have mastery of the subject matter. They have not been found wanting also in the theoretical aspect of teaching. Especially the way they make use of teaching aid in classes; and that is actually very impressive.
“There is one of them who is a Physics teacher now, we have to keep deploying from one class to the other just because we don’t have adequate teachers to cover those classes.
“The one that is taking Christian Religious Knowledge is a born teacher, who is very efficient and very punctual in her classes.”
Another principal of Government Secondary School in Daurawa, Kano, Haliru Inuwa, said the eight N-power teachers posted to his school since December 2016 have been saving grace for both himself and the students.
He said “We have eight beneficiaries of N-Power posted to my school here.”
“Most of them are handling core science subjects which most of the schools in Kano state are lacking generally. Yes, subjects like Mathematics, English etc. To our surprise, and against the earlier concern raised that they might not perform well in teaching, the N-Power volunteer teachers are not only committed to their teaching, but are also punctual,” he added.
These much were achieved in spite of the poor salary and working conditions. Graduates and non-graduates of the N-power program have exceeded expectations and raised the bar of dedication and service to the people.
The Nigerian government, just like the private sector operators, continues to take advantage of the high unemployment rate it created to exploit supposed high demand services. What does one expect? when they have been undermined from the onset as ‘privileged beneficiaries’ even with the pivotal role they played in the economy.
N-power volunteers, Batch A and B, as promised are to be absorbed into permanent job positions and their salaries and working conditions reviewed to further enhance their commitments and impacts across the board.
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