The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit has said that payment of the approved N22. 6 billion entitlements to ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Ltd., was halted due to multiple verification by some of the beneficiaries.
Deputy Director, PICA, Mr John Waitono made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the verification exercise for the ex-workers of the former national carrier took place from October 15 to October 28 across three centres in Lagos, Kano and Enugu.
Waitono said PICA had planned to start the payment of already verified pensioners in batches of 1,000 but had to halt the disbursement after it was discovered that some of the beneficiaries were verified in more than one location.
He said: “What happened was that the first batch was to commence payment but when we went through the system, we discovered that some persons have done the same exercise in Enugu and Lagos or Kano and Lagos.
“We now started sorting them out and that is what delayed the first batch. So, now we have collated all the information in one place from the three centres. The system is now sieving out those with multiple verification.
“One of such persons, whom I am aware of, said he did not trust the verification he did in Kano and that was why he did another one in Lagos.”
According to him, PICA is being careful not to make the mistake of paying some of the beneficiaries more than once.
“As at today (Monday), the consultant is back in Abuja and we are ensuring that the verified persons are paid as soon as possible. We want to send the names to the Office of the Account General in batches of 1,000.
“Over 5,000 persons were verified and once we eliminate the multiple verifications, everybody will be paid before the end of the week,” he said.
Waitono, who was the coordinator of the verification exercise at the Lagos centre, disclosed that it was concluded on Sunday, adding that the equipment had been sent back to Abuja.
“The few cases we left behind were those still processing their letters of administration in court.
“Also, there are some families involved in litigation over the beneficiaries and we have allowed them to go and sort themselves out legally before coming for the exercise,” he said.