Ten fake Military pensioners have been arrested by the Military Pensions Board in Adamawa State. According to the Chairman of the board, AVM Muhammad Dabo, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, the fake pensioners were arrested during the recently conducted verification exercise for retirees displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
The suspects were said to have been arrested at the venue of the exercise held in Yola, Adamawa State recently, with documents of some deceased military pensioners and had been handed over to the relevant authorities for further investigation and prosecution.
“We got information from various retirees that they were not able to attend the last verification exercise due to the situation as at that time. Some of them relocated to Cameroon and other neighbouring countries like Niger.
“We have been able to verify those that are genuine among them but we also discovered some are fake. Some of them are children of deceased retirees who came with the documents of dead pensioners and wanted to be enrolled as actual retirees, which is not possible.
“We also discovered that some of them wanted to use the opportunity to circumvent the process so that they can be enrolled illegally, but it was blocked and we arrested about 10 of them,” he said.
He said that money amounting to several billions of naira had been saved as many dead pensioners, whose names were hitherto on the board’s payroll, were dropped, adding that the board had written to the Ministry of Budget and Planning on the development as regards its allocations in the 2016 budget.
He also said that one innovation that has eased pension administration is the involvement of an IT payment platform in the payment of benefits to the pensioners as pensioners were paid their benefits promptly irrespective of their banks due to the measures adopted under the new payment system. He said:
“Prior to the introduction of the Treasury Single Account, we already made arrangement with an IT-based recognized payment platform known as the E-transact to be involved in the payment of gratuity.
“That helped in prompt payment irrespective of the banks the pensioners are using they get their payments at the same time. Now with the E-transact, we have been able to ensure prompt payment of benefits to pensioners that is why you no longer hear complaints about non-payment.”
Mr. Dabo further stated that plans were underway to further simplify future exercises as pensioners would in the near future update their status with their banks instead of traveling long distances for the purpose of verification.