The suspension of the Director General of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, Mrs Nellie Mayshak, has alleged to be the handiwork of the cabal in the pension administration sector that has always thwarted every effort by government to sanitize the industry.
Revelations by insiders in the agency revealed that the suspension of the DG, who was reputed for the setting up of the organization, was done under premeditated circumstances.
Mayshak, whose suspension was announced by the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, for alleged administrative infractions and the need to look into the books of the agency, has had her credibility torn into shreds since the announcement.
Various hues of stories have regaled the media, ranging from alleged N60 million monthly salary, alleged multi-billion naira fraud and running the agency as a sole administrator without a board.
However, a pension advocacy group, Pensioners Rights Protection Advocacy (PRPA) has faulted the suspension, insisting that the same cabal that has always worked against the interest of pensioners are at work again, adding that the reasons for her suspension was tantamount to calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
In a statement released at the weekend in Abuja, the Executive Director of the PRPA, Mr Sule Adams, said contrary to the alleged N60 million monthly salary, the DG earns a consolidated salary of N43 million naira per annum, which is about the least in the public financial sector and other related agencies like CBN, NNPC, PTDF, PPPRA, PENCOM amongst others.
The salary structure of PTAD is not a creation of any individual or the agency itself but that of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the group said.
Continuing, the group said Mayshak couldn't have run the agency like a sole administrator without a board, because the statue that set it up did not make provision for a board, but instead stipulates that the DG should report to the ministry of finance, which by implication, has the oversight responsibility over it to modulate all financial engagement in the agency.
The group further argued that the allegation of multi-billion naira fraud is spurious and unfounded because every payment and monthly payroll of pensioners are submitted to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, including rendering of monthly returns to the Pension Commission, PENCOM.
Adams said, since November 2013, when PTAD effectively took over the payment of pensioners, payments are made via the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to beneficiaries’ accounts, using the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS.
The payments are tracked through the banks to be sure that every pensioner receives their entitlements immediately they are paid.
"I and my group are beneficiaries of this new arrangement and we can say that we are better off than we were in the past".
“The suspension of Mrs Nellie Mayshak came to us as a rude shock, not because she is above such action but because we find the process leading to it as gravely flawed and undeserving of a Nigerian who had worked hard since the establishment of PTAD to put smiles on the faces of Nigerian pensioners.”
"Is the minister and the nation aware that PTAD has made savings of N7 billion by blocking over 5000 parastatals and agencies' ghost pensioners in the last five months?”
"Is the minister equally briefed that PTAD has handed over 121 pension fraudsters to the ICPC for investigation in the last one year?”
“It is curious that the Minister of Finance would just hurriedly suspend her indefinitely without first subjecting such allegations to serious scrutiny".
Continuing, the group wondered why Nigerians love to pull down their brightest brains, adding that Mayshak had a distinguished career before taking the PTAD job and came highly recommended.
“Mrs Mayshak is not just another Nigerian who was fortunate to get a job because of her gender or because she knew somebody but because of her track record of performance based on a reputation built over the years working with the governments of Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Cameroon, Angola, South Africa and China public sector reforms and administration.”
"We call on the Minister of Finance to see through the gang up against this intelligent and hardworking Nigerian and not just lift the suspension but clear her name through diligent investigation so that she can continue with her good work”