The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Sunday said that a total of 1, 225 pensioners were verified in the just-concluded Parastatal Pensioner Verification in Anambra State.
The ongoing nationwide verification embarked upon by the PTAD was to enhance payment of pensioner’s monthly entitlements and to rid the system of fraud.
Concise News understands that the Team Leader for the Anambra verification, Hajiya Amina Katune-Abdullahi, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka.
In the South-East zone, the exercise started on Aug. 26 and will end on Sept. 4 in selected centers in Enugu, Awka, and Owerri.
While at Anambra center, the exercise lasted for only six days, from Aug. 26 to Aug. 31.
Katune-Abdullahi told NAN that the exercise which was held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, was able to capture many pensioners in the state.
“We had planned to attend to about 300 retirees daily but on the first day, due to the rush, we attended to about 304 pensioners. The following day, we verified about 383 people.
“After the first two days, the number stated decreasing. On Wednesday we attended to about 287. On Thursday 137. On Friday 103 and on Saturday which was the last day, we attended only 11 pensioners.
“During the exercise, we ensured that the pensioners were comfortable. We even served lunch to those who were waiting to be attended to.
“Although, it was not easy but the pensioners cooperated with our officials from PTAD to ensure a seamless and hitch-free verification.”
Katune-Abdullahi said there was no record of next of kin verification in the state.
Concise News had reported that PTAD had warned pensioners against patronizing third parties during their pension verification.
It was gathered that the Honourable Minister of State for Environment and immediate past Executive Secretary of the directorate, Barr Sharon Ikeazor, gave the advice to pensioners in Awka, Anambra State, during the commissioning of the PTAD office in the State.
Ikeazor said, “The idea of a state liaison office is to bring our world-class pension services to the doorsteps of our pensioners and to discourage and or stop our senior citizens from traveling long distances to get their complaints or other issues resolved.
“We urge you to take advantage of the opening of this office. Do not patronize fraudsters, don’t engage anyone to do your verification for you. Most of the people you meet are fraudsters and they end up duping you.
“Do not deal with unauthorized persons in the name of facilitating the resolution of your complaint and payment of your pension entitlements. You stand the risk of falling prey to pension scammers and fraudsters if you do so.
“Here at PTAD, we are building a solid database for pensioners, so once you carry out your verification you will have no reason to do it again.”
She stated that she hoped in the nearest future, every state in the country will have a PTAD office.
She clarified that she attended the opening of the Awka office despite her elevation to the office of the Minister of State for Environment because the event had been scheduled while she was still the Executive Secretary.
However, the new Executive Secretary of PTAD, Chioma Ejikeme, encouraged pensioners to always bring any issues relating to the payment of their pension to the office.
She said that things had been made simple, and pensioners do not have to spend a long time to get their issues resolved.
She said, “There used to be a time when people went with mates to do their pension verification, but that is no longer the case. There is no dignity in being a pensioner.
“We will not let our senior citizens suffer to get what they toiled for during their early days. Things have been made very easy now, and the opening of this office will further help pensioners in Anambra and save them from the risk of traveling to Abuja before they can get issues relating to their pension resolved.”