As PTAD commences full operation of its web based verification platform: ‘I Am Alive Confirmation’, for DBS pensioners, PTAD Executive Secretary listed some key points all pensioners under its payroll must note and understand. CHRISTIAN APPOLOS, in this report, brings excerpts.
The Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) last Friday, launched the internet based verification platform known as; I Am Alive Confirmation (IAAC) solution for all the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) pensioners under its payroll.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, at the formal unveiling of the I Am Alive Confirmation web based solution at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, said the internet based aliveness verification platform was designed to eradicate the stress and suffering many DBS pensioners went through in the past during the process of verifying their aliveness.
Recall that PTAD in the past carried out aliveness verification exercises for DBS pensioners by going to the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and pensioners involved are to present themselves for verification in their zones which was always a cumbersome task and capital intensive.
But with the web based verification platform, I Am Alive Confirmation, PTAD’s empathetic vision to completely end the sufferings associated with the zone to zone gathering of the senior citizens in the name verification exercises is now a thing of the past. According to the Directorate’s Executive Secretary.
At the event of the unveiling of I Am Alive Confirmation, there are key things PTAD considered most important points all the pensioners eligible to use the I Am Alive Confirmation platform must note.
First among the important things is the scheduled dates each pensioners’ group according to their departments or agencies are meant to log into the website to commence the verification exercise.
In the words of PTAD Executive Secretary, “To ensure an efficient and effective delivery, the availability of the Confirmation program has been staggered according to departments as follows: Police Pensioners: 14th April, 2023 to 13th October, 2023. Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensioners: 1st June, 2023 to 31st December, 2023. Civil Service Pensioners: 1st July, 2023 to 31st January, 2024. Parastatals Pensioners: 1st August, 2023 to 28th February, 2024.
“Pensioners are to please take note of the above dates. Any changes to these dates will be communicated via the Press.
PTAD has provided a six-month grace period for every department and their pensioners to complete their “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution.”
The PTAD boss went on to list another important thing, saying; “We wish to use this opportunity to assure our esteemed pensioners that the “I Am Alive” confirmation solution has been designed with their utmost welfare in mind leveraging on accuracy, reliability, user -friendliness and convenience. PTAD has over the years promised that the era of bringing out our aged pensioners for field verification is over, and we are standing by this promise.
“The IAAC Solution is available to ALL our VERIFIED Pensioners across the four Pension Departments. It is simple and easy to use, and we have provided a short video for instructions. The application can be accessed using a smart mobile phone, a desktop or any computer device that has Internet access.
“Simply go to www.ptad.gov.ng, scroll down and click on the “I Am Alive” link at the bottom. If it is a Desktop, the link will be at the top right.
“Only the Pensioner’s Bank Account number provided during verification and used for receiving pension, and the Pensioner’s number on the Verification Acknowledgement Slip are required. PTAD does not need your BVN, ATM Card number or PIN to process the “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution. Please beware of fraudsters. Once you have logged in, follow the prompts.”
Also, Dr Chioma Ejikeme explained that ‘I Am Alive Confirmation’ was sophisticatedly designed in a way that no one can access pensioners vital data or pension through the verification platform.
“It is important to let our Pensioners know that nobody can tamper with your pension payment through the “I Am Alive” platform. If somebody with a smartphone or computer system in your neighbourhood helps you to confirm your aliveness, the person cannot steal your money. All we need is a confirmation that you are still alive and eligible to continue to receive your pension.” She added.
Another thing she hinted on was that PTAD’s communication channels are open to give assistance to any pensioner who may experience difficulties in carrying out the online exercise and also that serious awareness campaign shall be carried out by the Directorate to ensure that pensioners receive adequate information about the ‘I Am AliveConfirmation solution platform.
“Our communication channels are also open to receive comments, observations and render assistance where necessary, and we enjoin our pensioners to reach out to us.
“In the coming weeks, we will embark on a massive awareness campaign on the “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution, to sensitise the pensioners and the general public on the commencement schedule.”
In addition to that she loudly said; “The “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution is free, PTAD does not charge any fee for this confirmation. No PTAD staff will ask you for payment to process your pension or arrears, anyone who demands for payment from you is a fraudster and should be reported immediately.”
PTAD Executive Secretary, didn’t forget to reel out some of the grand benefits of the ‘I Am Alive Confirmation solution platform. According to her; “The key benefits of the “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution to DBS Pensioners and the Federal Government are huge:
Government funding of pensions will be accurately estimated as deceased pensioners are immediately removed from the Payroll. Funding for field verification will be completely eliminated. Pensioners are no longer required to travel long distances with the attendant stress and inconvenience to attend verification exercises. The result of the “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution is received via SMS to the phone of the Pensioner.”
Earlier, the ES spoke on how PTAD arrived at launching a full scale operation of the new aliveness verification platform.
In her words; “You may recall that on the 12th of October 2021, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate officially launched the Pilot Phase of the “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution, which is an online application designed to enable pensioners under the Defined Benefits Scheme easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood, using either a smartphone or a computer system.
“You may also recall that at inception, PTAD embarked on massive verification exercises which took place between 2014 and 2019 across all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria.The field verification exercises cut across all the operational departments of the Directorate, namely: The Civil Service Pension Department, The Police Pension Department, The Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Department, and finally, The Parastatals Pension Department.
“The aim of the verification exercises was to ascertain eligible pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme, enroll eligible pensioners who were hitherto not on the Directorate’s Payroll, while promptly removing the unqualified.
“The field verification was immensely successful and beneficial to the operations of PTAD resulting in a comprehensive and reliable database, which facilitates the process of budget preparation, accurate pension payments and the determination of outstanding pension liabilities.
“However, continuing with periodic field verifications to ascertain the aliveness of our pensioners is not only expensive both for the Pensioners and government but is also a stressful exercise for our senior citizens. Looking for a solution that would eliminate field verifications became imperative and gave birth to the I Am Alive Confirmation (IAAC) Solution.
“Following the launch in 2021, PTAD began with the Pilot Phase, where the application was tested with fifty thousand randomly-selected pensioners across the four operational departments and six geo-political zones. The aim was to test its efficacy and user-friendliness, bearing in mind that this novel initiative is meant for our senior citizens.
“The journey to test and provide this Solution has taken PTAD over eighteen months. They have been challenging months that stretched us as an organisation, as we worked to ensure that our service ethos of “Empathy” for our Pensioners’ welfare is delivered. We are proud of our efforts and are hopeful that the solution will have a positive impact on our DBS Pensioners as well as PTAD and the Government in general.
“The Pilot Phase was largely successful, the teething challenges have been identified and resolved, and PTAD is ready to fully roll-out the I Am Alive Confirmation (IAAC) solution to our pensioners. This we believe is the way forward as far as validation of the Aliveness of our Pensioners is concerned.”