FG Set To Pay NITEL, MTEL Pensioners In PH …Commences Verification Exercise

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Pensioners of NITEL and MTEL may now heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Government has commenced a verification exercise of those who had retired from service before June 30, 2007.
The exercise which commenced in four locations including Rivers State has been a success as pensioners commended the Federal Government for its plans to commence payment of their pension after 10 years.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, last week the Chairman of Edo State Pensioners, Samuel Isiraojie said it has been difficult for some of them after years of starvation, deprivations and frustrations.
Isiraoji expressed happiness that the present administration was able to remember and commence the exercise to capture them into the system, noting that it was a relief for some of them.
He said it was a thing of joy after the halt in 2007, the federal government decided to resume payment, adding that it was exciting for the retired workers.
Also speaking, the former General Manager, South Eastern Zone, Daniel Thomas Oriri, said they are happy that God has started answering their prayers, stating that “if you’re retired, you need rest in the hope that you can be getting your benefits till you die.”
Oriri regretted that some of their colleagues have died without receiving their pensions as he called on government to ensure that all the arrears are paid to them.
He said government should ensure that those who have served the nation in any capacity should not be allowed to suffer or be deprived of their remunerations.
According to him,” pensioners should be considered as human beings because every worker will one day become a pensioner”.
The Tide gathered that the exercise which commenced last Monday will end Saturday and the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) is expected to capture about 21,000 pensioners in the south.
Sources also disclosed to The Tide that about 1,500 pensioners of the effected parastatals from Rivers State are expected to be captured and imputed into the system and database.
It would be recalled that PTAD an agency of the Federal Government, was established in August 2013 to oversee the administration of pensions under the Defined Benefit Scheme(DBS)for pensioners not transiting to the contributory pension scheme in compliance with the provisions for the Pension Reform Act of 2004.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, was not available to speak to our correspondent, but the leader of the team who refused to mention her name said the ongoing exercise was only for NITEL/MTEL parastatal pensioners who were retired before June 30th,2007.
She noted that their sovereign benefits have been paid but their pensions were stopped after NITEL/MTEL was privatised by the federal government.
The Team leader revealed that PTAD has four locations, two in Lagos, one in Rivers State and one in Enugu, explaining that the Port Harcourt location serves those in the South South geo political zone, while that of Enugu is for those in the Eastern states.
She also explained that those that have died, their next of kin will have to present their documents and certificate for verification.