From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has deferred the removal of 23,089 unverified parastatals pensioners to next month following an appeal by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP).

NUP’s General-Secretary Elder Actor Zal confirmed this in a statement said on Monday.

It called on pensioners at home and abroad to check their records and put it right with PTAD, using its channels.

The agency had promised to remove the names of pensioners from its payroll last month after the pensioners failed to appear for physical verification from last year to early February.

“PTAD has acceded to our request that they will not remove the names of pensioners until the end of October. They have extended the time by about three months.

“PTAD took the decision owing to the agitation by NUP. Hence it advised NUP to ensure that pensioners know that it has been extended by three months and whoever has not done verification has up till October ending to perfect his records; if not they would remove the names.a

“PTAD had therefore extended the time to the end of October, after which it would remove the names from the payroll. What NUP demanded for then was to give them enough notice and they have given further time now till October ending before they would remove them on the list,” the statement said.

The NUP also called on the Acting Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Ekpo Nta, to expedite action on the review of pension in relation to the new national minimum wage agreed and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in April last year.

The union stated that the Implementation Committee on pension review set up by the NSIWC has already submitted its report to the Board of the Commission and the Board had since approved it.

Specifically, the NUP appealed to the Commission to submit the already approved templates and consequential adjustments by the board of the commission to Buhari, adding that the delay in transmitting the report to the president since approved by the NSIWC board cannot be justified; and the pensioners were not happy with the delay.

“It (the report) has been approved and submitted by the NSIWC board for onward transmission to President Buhari. But the Commission has not taken it to Mr. President for action. We don’t know what is delaying it but I can tell you that the pensioners are not happy with this delay. So, we want the Salaries and Wages Commission to expedite action on it and forward it to Mr. President for action immediately,” the statement said.

The NUP also commended the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Finance for the recent release of money to pay the Nigerian Airways pensioners.

“The Ministry of Finance released money for the payment of Nigerian Airways pensioners; and we want to also thank the Federal Government for making the release for the payment of the Nigerian Airways pensioners. This will definitely go a long way to help the pensioners and their family in the face of the very hard economic situation in the country,” it added.

The Nation