PTAD Assures Defunct PHCN Pensioners of N25b Arrears Payment

July 3, 2024

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has assured electricity sector pensioners of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) of payment of their arrears amounting to over N25billion.

PTAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, gave the assurance during a meeting at the directorate’s headquarters in Abuja.

She said PTAD was not only committed to the welfare of our pensioners, but also to settling their arrears.

Ejikeme acknowledged that the electricity sector pensioners were being owed N25 billion.

She further said PTAD had paid off huge arrears of pensioners from defunct and privatized agencies of government liabilities, which PHCN was part of.

Ejikeme explained that the PHCN arrears were part of the unfunded liabilities inherited by PTAD when it was established in 2014.

She said they had, however, been paying their monthly pension and had never failed.

Dr. Ejikeme assured that the pensioners would be paid soon as they were working assiduously to get funds through the Ministry of Finance to pay them.

The pensioners under the umbrella body of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) electricity sector had complained of non-payment of pension and outstanding benefits totalling over N25 billion since 2014.

They are also calling for the release of their check-off dues since June 2017 that was put on hold by PTAD following the dispute that led to factions between the PHCN pensioners.

The sector’s Chairman, Alhaji Idi Bawa Gaidam, said: “Our unpaid benefits have lingered on for over a decade unattended to since the sector was privatised. These comprise the arrears of pension and outstanding benefits totaling over N25 billion. Going by a letter sent by Nigeria Liability Management Company (NELMCO) to the Budget Office in 2014 requesting for fund to pay us as at 2019, we are being owed Harmonisation Arrears of N14.530 billion; Monetisation Arrears of N7.07 billion; Year 2000 Retirees Benefits N3.03; and Electricity Rebate Arrears N922.1 million.

“We were informed that former President Muhammadu Buhari set up a ‘Presidential Inter-Agency Ministerial Reconciliation Committee’ to authenticate the genuineness or otherwise of these claims. The Committee, we were informed, recommended it for payment which until now has not been paid.”

NUP National Vice-President, (parastatals) Comrade Olukayode Ogunbiyi, one of the pensioners added: “As you know, pensioners are a very vulnerable species as a result of ageing factors. They are on average 65 years and above.

“Most have no access to medical facilities and are dying prematurely. This situation is precarious and needs urgent intervention by the payment of their arrears of pension and outstanding benefits. We appeal to PTAD to look into our plight.’’