The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Thursday said technological glitches are responsible for the non-payment of pension to retired federal civil servants in Lagos.
Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said her agency was working on resolving the delayed payments.
A Lagos state secretary of the National Union of Pensioners, Abiodun Michael, had lamented that some pensioners were being owed up to nine months.
“Most of these people, their money go into medicals,” he said. “They are dying everyday. In a week, you will get four to five obituaries.”
But Dr Ejikeme was insistent that it wasn’t the fault of PTAD, but the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“We send for reports from GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) to get the payments that have been made,” Dr Ejikeme said on Thursday. “Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes more.
“So we have that lag in communication as to whether the payments we made failed or not. And when we have such a situation, when the pensioner complains, we ask them to send us their statement of accounts, so that we can confirm that that payment didn’t go through.
“If he (Abiodun Michael) says 18,000 pensioners have not been paid, it means that PTAD has a bias for Lagos state pensioners. Why is it that the other pensioners from other states all over the federation are not making the same complaints?
“These are pockets of complaints and we are addressing them. This is a system, it’s technology, there’s nothing we can do about it.
“I have apologised to the pensioners about the three month arrears. We try to explain technology to our pensioners, but they don’t seem to understand.
“We are very happy to have EFCC and ICPC come look into what we are doing.
“It is not within our domain. It is within the domain of the GIFMIS platform. It is within the domain of the technology that is domiciled within the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.”(Channels TV)
•PHOTO: Dr Chioma Ejikeme