Aisha Dahir-Umar, the Acting Director-General of National Pension Commission (PenCom), Wednesday said the Federal Government (FG) had begun working out modalities for pension payment to the next batch of retirees.
Dahir-Umar told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that FG and PenCom would soon release substantial funds for the payment, saying that retirees who had perfected their documentation and verification processes would be captured for payments in the next batch.
According to the PenCom boss, the funds for the Accrued Rights was expected to cover retirees from October 2016 to August 2017, as she recalled that FG, through PenCom, had released N54 billion in April to clear pension backlog for payment of the last batch of retirees from January to September 2016.
In her commendation for the President Muhammudu Buhari’s led-administration for prompt attention to retirees’ well-being by settling accrued pensions for that period, Dahir-Umar asserted that “in spite of competing demands for funds, President Buhari has always expressed concern for the plight of workers and pensioners.”
“It has brought relief to thousands of our elders who have served the country and deserve to be paid their entitlements promptly and fully too,” she said
She explained that some pensioners in the last batch who did not receive their pension must have been due to errors in documentation and verification process as “such also may be caused by late documentation,’’
Dahir-Umar said that documentation starts in June every year, and the commission had been placing notices in newspapers.
“Currently, the commission has almost finished for this year; we are at the Women Centre, Abuja, verifying pensioners from agencies located within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” she said, adding that the commission also have centres across the country.
She, however, denied allegations that the commission and the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) delayed payments and misappropriated funds meant for pensioners.
She added that the commission and the PFAs were being watched by the Federal Government and guided by core principles that could not be truncated.
Dahir-Umar said the PFAs usually paid the pensioners that registered under them without delay once the Federal Government released funds through PenCom.