By Rita Esegine
The management of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); the Federal government agency saddled with the responsibility to ensuring that pensioners get their monthly pay promptly, has void to change the narrative through a sophisticated ICT verification programme, known as ‘I Am Alive’.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme on Tuesday June 21, 2022, who said this when she addressed the gathering of the representatives of the concerned pensioners and Pension Desk Officers of the Directorate from the northern Nigeria zones, at the ‘I Am Alive’ sensitization and training exercise in Abuja, added that PTAD has put 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.
She added that the ‘I Am Alive’ confirmation exercise is designed to put an end to the tedious, challenging and expensive field verification exercises of the past embarked by pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme.
Dr. Ejikeme further said that the application known as “I am Alive” will also enable the senior citizens to resolve their complaints without unnecessary stress.
She noted that above 50,000 pensioners were already enrolled in the confirmation programme, following the launch of the verification scheme last October during the pilot phase. She added that the ‘I Am Alive’ verification 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.
Her words; “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 “I 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.”