By G9ija

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) yesterday disclosed that the total pension liabilities of 265 parastatals under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) stood at over N90 billion.

PTAD Director, Parastatals Pension Department, Alhaji Yusuf Umar, stated this in Abuja at a workshop for the Pension Correspondents Association of Nigeria (PENCAN).

He said pensioners of defunct Nigeria Telecommunications Limited/ MTEL with over 11,000 pensioners had the largest outstanding liability of N73 billion while Delta Steel Company had a liability of N7.9 billion.

A further breakdown showed Nicon Insurance had a liability of N4.9 billion, Nigeria-Reinsurance had 24 months arrears worth N1.1 billion as well as New Nigeria Newspaper with pension liability of N2. 9 billion among others.

Other parastatals included the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) with 953 pensioners owed N1.2 billion, Aluminium Smelter Company Limited (ALSCON) with 2,000 pensioners had cumulative pension liability of N467 million, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) N467 million, defunct Assurance Bank with 935 pensioners are being owed with N570 million while Federal Housing Authority (FHA) had N389 million liability.

Umar said the N90 billion would cover 92,000 prisoners of federal agencies.

Notwithstanding the huge indebtedness, he said a lot of progress had been recorded in whittling down the liabilities.

He said the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) had been a game-changer in weeding out ghost pensioners.

He pointed out that the directorate had removed pensioners operating microfinance banks and requested all pensioners to open accounts with conventional Deposit Money Banks.

He also disclosed that over N20 billion had been saved for the federal government through the removal of ineligible pensioners from the payroll.