The Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria (ARPON) has commended the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on the ongoing verification of Police pensioners in the country.
The commendation was given at the weekend when the association executive led by its first Vice-President and former Governor of Rivers State, DIG Fidelis Oyakhilome (Rtd), paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General of PTAD, Mrs. Nellie Mayshak, at her office in Abuja.
The commendation, which was conveyed in a letter by the retired police officers, praised PTAD for the orderliness and humane conduct of the verification exercise.
The letter signed by DIG Oyakhilome, specifically stated that the current verification exercise carried by PTAD was a marked departure from previous exercises where their members were subjected to untold hardship.
“During previous exercises, no seats were provided for pensioners. The halls at venues were not big enough to contain our swarming members, and in venues were there were no trees for shelter, our members went through ordeals that can be better imagined than described,” the letter stated.
It further stated that in the current verification, pensioners arrived at venues into the open arms of courteous, caring and polite officers who carried out their duties professionally, which ensured that the exercise was concluded in minutes unlike previous exercises where officers go with mats to stay overnight.
“This is a fine arrangement, it is excellent, and coming from a government agency, it is good and unbelievable,” the letter stressed.
PTAD was established by the current administration to streamline and harmonise all pension departments in the defined benefit scheme to reduce administrative bottlenecks and eliminate the various cases of fraud, which had created an age long distrust in the pension industry. Its establishment was imperative in the wake of the introduction of the contributory pension scheme as provided by the Pension Reform Act of 2004.
Though the agency’s mandate was explicitly supported by the Act, it did not come into being until 2013 when President Goodluck Jonathan committed to tackling headlong the challenges facing pensioners under the defined benefit scheme.
The Police pensioners’ biometric verification has been concluded in 12 centres of the Nigeria Police operational zones in the North and South-west regions, where a total of 11,693 pensioners were verified out of the 13,884 in the two regions. The next verification exercise will commence this month in the South-east and South-south regions.
Communication Officer, PTAD