By Nana musa
Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, says the National Assembly is working with stakeholders to address Nigeria’s pension administration challenges.
Shekarau disclosed this at the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) stakeholders’ forum organised in collaboration with Association of Retired War Affected Police Officers (ARWAPO).
He said that the business of the lawmakers was to make laws that would make things easier for the citizens.
“We are collaborating with all the pension agencies, in dialogue with the relevant government ministries and agencies including Ministry of Finance, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and all other concerned.
“We are addressing outstanding issues with pension administration and plight of pensioners,” he said.
The lawmaker commended PTAD over the stakeholders meeting and its constant engagement with people at the grassroots to listen to their problems and find solutions.
Shekarau advised pensioners to always liaise with the leaders of pensioners’ unions to make their complaints known and to take up their demands with PTAD to minimise their challenges.
“There can not be a time when there will be no complaints because we are dealing with human beings; sometimes it is not the fault of the agencies,” he said.
However, the President of ARWAPO, Mr Mathew Udeh, lamented the existence of some challenges and the stress their members were subjected to before being paid.
Udeh said that sometimes the pensioners were asked to produce some documents used when they were paid in 2006 and 2007, the voucher they signed or the cheques they were given.
“It is difficult for us to produce these documents because it is such a long time,” he said.
Udeh, who proffered some solutions to the pensioners’ problems, appealed to the directorate to help solve the challenges quickly.
He said that some pensioners had been paid their arrears while some were yet to be paid, adding that those who have been paid should be placed on monthly pension payment.
He, however, thanked the organisers of the programme and commended the effort of the directorate in its quest to meet their needs.