Northwest: PTAD biometric capture targets 13,000 federal pensioners from 270 agencies

The Executive Secretary, Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Dr. Chioma Ejikeme on Monday said that the ongoing biometric capture in the Northwest zone is expected to capture 13,000 federal pensioners. 

Addressing journalists in Kaduna after monitoring the exercise, which is in three stages – document review, biometric capture and quality assurance by internal and external auditors, in the two Kaduna centers, the PTAD boss said the biometric capture for pensioners of 270 federal agencies in the seven Northwest states was aimed at building an accurate data bank for pensioners. 

“We want to get accurate database of our pensioners to know those that are on the payroll and those that have fallen out of the payroll and those that we might have to add to the payroll. We want to compute accurately what we owe the pensioners, what they owe us, what we pay them, and to know if they have received their monthly pension. 

“We were targeting 13,000 pensioners, as at yesterday (Sunday) we have captured over 8,000 pensioners across the Northwest states. The exercise will end in Kano on Tuesday and that of Kaduna will end on Friday. Underpayment is an issue that we are trying to address, we inherited lots of computation that are not quite correct. When we are through, we will know the correct computation. 

“The exercise will show the correct computation especially with the parastatals pensioners. We inherited N10 billion liability. We are working out the modalities we want to know those that have fallen out of our payroll by death.”

The PTAD boss said considering the health challenges faced by the senior citizens, they are looking at the possibility of putting the pensioners National Health Insurance Scheme just as she lamented that paucity of fund will make it difficult for government to shoulder the financial responsibility.

“We are looking into enrolling them in NHIS because the ageing population needs that service better than the young ones. We are looking at other source of funding the scheme.”

While addressing the pensioners, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, told them that, “as soon as we get funds, we will pay you your arrears. The money will come when it will come. The harmonisation is why you are here, the verification that is taking place will take care of that. We need to know how much we have to pay. We know we are owing you people for long but gradually we will pay.” 

A retiree, Malam Mahmuda Ibrahim, 71, commended the smooth process of the biometric capture noting that it was well organised.

“I retired from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria voluntarily on December 30th, 1996 after working with them for 21 years, one month since December 1, 1975. They tried because we are many, people are too many. There was no problem, the process was smooth. They did well. 

“This is my second biometric capture, I did one at the Federal Secretariat in Kaduna in 2006. I first came last week Monday but I was given a card and asked to come back today Monday. I came here from Zaria around after 7am, they announced how we will seat and the process commenced, by 1pm we I’m through.”

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