*says pensioners must be able to do verification exercises from comfort of their homes
By Michael Oche
Dr Chioma Ejikeme, the Executive Secretary of the Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Tuesday said the Directorate has in place measures that will ensure that pensioners will be able to do their verification exercises from the comfort of their homes, or at the very least, within close proximity to their residences.
Dr Ejikeme said this will put an end to the tedious, challenging and expensive field verification exercises of the past embarked by pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday during a training programme for Union executives and pension Desk Officers, the PTAD executive Secretary said the application known as “I am Alive” will also enable the senior citizens to resolve their complaints without unnecessary stress.
She said already, the following the launch of the project last October, 50,000 pensioners were enrolled for the Pilot phase, adding that the solution is now ready for deployment across the nation.
She said the training of the union executives and pension desk officers on the use of the Application is a critical step towards preparing the pensioners to be fully conversant with the use of the application.
Furthermore, she said, “The training programme taking place this week is therefore for this primary purpose — to ensure that our Union Executives and Pension Desk Officers
can use this “! AM ALIVE” Confirmation solution without any difficulty; that they can assist our pensioners in understanding how to use the application, and that they can respond to basic inquiries and questions about the confirmation process.
“The training has been organised to first give an understanding of why we are deploying “I AM ALIVE”, what we expect as the impact and benefits to be derived, and what we see as likely challenges. We will also explain the role we believe that Union Executives and Pension Desk Officers should play. In addition, we will demonstrate the entire “I AM ALIVE” Confirmation process again and show you a live demonstration.
“Before I conclude my address, I would like to make this categorical declaration. Over the years, PTAD has worked assiduously to change the narrative of pension administration in Nigeria, especially under the Defined Benefits Scheme, and we are proud to see that the hard work is yielding positive results.
“The “I AM ALIVE” Confirmation Solution is the crucial next step that we have to make in our journey to ensuring that all our esteemed pensioners, senior citizens who have served this country, can enjoy their hard-earned pensions without the hardships of the past.
“The tedious, challenging and expensive field verification exercises of the past must end. Pensioners must be able to confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes, or at the very least, within close proximity to their residences. They should also be able to resolve their complaints without unnecessary stress.
“We want them to be able to contact PTAD with ease, and to be treated with respect and dignity. This project, and all others we have implemented in the past, have been designed towards this end goal.”