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Payment of NITEL/MTe Pensioners Begins Soon—PTAD

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NITEL MTel retirees

By Dipo Olowookere

The management of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has assured pensioners of the privatised NITEL/MTEL would soon begin to receive their payments.

This assurance was given in a statement issued by the agency on Friday, September 7, 2018, in reaction to a press statement issued by the Association of Former Telecoms Employees of Nigeria (ATEN), claiming that PTAD and the Federal Ministry of Finance had submitted and defended “huge amount of money” for the payment of monthly pension to ex-workers of company, suggesting that the action was “illegal and against the law.”

According to PTAD, during its verification exercise in February 2018, about 15,212 NITEL/MTEL pensioners were verified, following the approval granted by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on February 10, 2017 for the enrolment of eligible pensioners of 10 defunct/privatized agencies including NITEL.

Mrs Adeosun’s approval followed the unrelenting agitation by representatives of the various pension groups for enrolment into ‘Pension for Life.’

According to PTAD, before this year’s exercise, it made it abundantly clear that its mandate was to verify and enrol eligible pensioners for the purpose of payment of monthly pension, in conformity with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (2014).

“This was what the Directorate did in the cases of Delta Steel Company (DSC), Nigeria Reinsurance, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), NICON Insurance and Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) civilians.

“PTAD is also on the verge of enrolling eligible pensioners of NITEL/MTEL. The current campaign of disinformation being perpetrated by the fringe group will, therefore, not distract PTAD from meeting this noble objective, nor will it distract from the Directorate’s ability of improving the welfare of pensioners,” the agency said.

PTAD noted that during the February 2018 exercise, from the 15,212 total verified NITEL/MTEL pensioners, 9,198 were the eligible pensioners computed (to be put on payroll), 3,233 were not eligible for pensions (served less than 10 years), while 1,385 were asked to provide additional information required for processing, with the same number of people, 1,385 fell under NoKs.

However, when Business Post made a summation of these figures given by PTAD, it was short of 11 and efforts made to reach PTAD for this discrepancy were futile.

But in the statement, the agency said the basis for computation was eligibility, salary structure and pensionable allowances.

It said those qualified for pension were workers who had spent a minimum of 10 years of service by September 30, 2006 (date of privatization), used NITEL salary structure received from Federal Ministry of Communications and Bureau of Public Enterprises.

PTAD further said federal government approved rates of increment were applied based on date of retirement 150% with effect from 1/1/1999, 30% with effect from 1/1/2000, 142% with effect from 1/5/2000, 6% with effect from 1/10/2003, 15% with effect from 1/1/2007, and 33% with effect from 1/7/2010.

“All computations are subjected to clearance by Resident Auditors from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF).

“Please note that the Directorate’s immediate priority is to put the eligible NITEL/MTEL pensioners on payroll for the payment of monthly pension

“The payment of monthly pension to eligible NITEL/MTEL pensioners will commence soon. All accumulated arrears will also be settled as soon as possible.

“All those who do not qualify under extant laws will be informed individually,” the agency said in the statement.

Payment of NITEL/MTe Pensioners Begins Soon—PTAD

Payment of NITEL/MTe Pensioners Begins Soon—PTAD

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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EFCC Questions Ex-NDDC Boss Nsima Ekere Over N47bn Fraud

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Nsima Ekere

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere, has been grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former NDDC boss was at the Lagos office of the agency on Wednesday to honour an invitation to him to answer questions surrounding an alleged fraud to the tune of N47 billion.

In 2016, a year after losing the governorship primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to Governor Udom Emmanuel, he was appointed as the MD of the commission.

He left office in 2018 to concentrate on his ambition to rule his home state and contested the gubernatorial poll in 2019 under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost again to Mr Emmanuel.

In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019 and the report of the exercise, according to the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio, said several frauds were uncovered.

The EFCC, reports said, has been trailing Mr Ekere and yesterday, he turned himself in and he was questioned on the allegations of contract inflation and award of fictitious contracts while in office.

This development is coming two days after the anti-money laundering organisation arrested the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, over allegations of diversion of N80 billion.

He was suspended yesterday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainah Ahmed, to enable a transparent investigation into the matter.

Also, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs Patricia Etteh, was apprehended on Tuesday by the agency over allegations of diversion of funds for projects.

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IPMAN, EFCC Move Against Oil Theft, Vandalism in N’Delta

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IPMAN

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has sought the support and intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of IPMAN, Mr Bello Binna, during a visit to the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, in his office.

Mr Binna said that the EFCC was the only agency trusted to give solutions on issues of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

According to him, IPMAN was more comfortable with what the EFCC is doing to curb

“We are here to collaborate with the Agency with which we are more comfortable, and we believe that with your support, our jobs will have a headway.

“In the past, our efforts have been wasted, we were advised that the agency that has the mandate to make our job effectively is the EFCC,” he said.

Responding, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, said the EFCC was working tirelessly to put an end to the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.

Mr Nwokike also stressed the need to educate youths within the region on the ills of oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.

“I assure you that the EFCC has the desire to reduce, if not bring to an end, the menace of illegal oil bunkering.

“We will educate our youths on the dangers of this, which is part of our mandate, educating our youths on why they must leave these illegalities. We must all come together to see how we can tackle this menace. I want to assure you that we will work together,” he said.

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Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President

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Akinwumi Adesina Sworn-In

By Adedapo Adesanya

The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.

Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.

In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.

However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.

“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.

“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.

“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.

Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.

The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.

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