By Obioma C. Appolos
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), has urged the Federal government through its agency; Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to re-verify its records and also published the names of the 23,089 pensioners it proposes to remove from pensions payroll, to avoid making hasty decisions that may jeopardize the livelihood of the senior citizens.
According to a letter by NUP’s General Secretary, Elder Actor Zal, addressed to PTAD Executive Secretary, in response to an earlier letter from PTAD informing NUP of its decision to yank of 23,089 -pensioners from their payroll, the pension union entreated the Directorate to crosscheck its facts and records very well and be double sure of the names Involved before removing them finally from the payroll.
NUP also appealed to PTAD to among other measures, endeavor to publish the proposed names in at least 3 national newspapers to create the necessary awareness both at home and abroad for a “pensioners involved.”
PTAD, in its letter to NUP said that its decision to remove the said names from pension payroll followed the “review and analysis” of the field verification exercise it carried out for pensioners between April and November 2019; as well a follow-up exercise held at the PTAD headquarters in Abuja and Lagos Liaison Office until the lockdown.
The NUP letter in full read; “We refer to your letter dated 9th July, 2020 on the above subject.
“Consequently, we would like to appreciate the painstaking efforts of PTAD in carrying out the last parastatals pensioners verification through the length and breadth of the country. The thoroughness and professionalism of your staff needed to be applauded and commended as well.
“However, the union was shocked at the staggering figure of 23,089 pensioners about to be yanked off the payroll for various reasons.
“While we will not support continued payment of monthly pension to those pensioners who did not undergo verification, we are however of the firm belief that not all the entire twenty three thousand and eighty nine (23,089) pensioners on the attached list are dead, sick or even did not attend the aforesaid verification. It is glaringly impossible.
“Therefore, we want to seriously appeal that you painstakingly cross-check your facts and records very well and be double sure of the names Involved before removing them finally from the payroll.
“Secondly, we appeal to PTAD to among other measures, endeavor to publish these names in at least 3 national newspapers to create the necessary awareness both at home and abroad for a“ pensioners involved.
“Experience over the years have shown to us that it is always easner to remove names from payroll than to restore it. Remember, pensioners monthly payment is a matter of life and death for the pensioners as many of them do not have any other means of income to survive. Moreso, they are aged, vulnerable and endangered species exposed to numerous health challenges.
Therefore, it is better to do it thoroughly and achieve the desired result and avoid the outrage that may follow if done haphazardly. “A stitch in time saves nine””