Pensioners across the country under the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS), today breathed a sigh of relief as the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) launched “I Am Alive” online project to mitigate their burdens.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme announced the Launch of the Pilot Phase of the “I Am Alive” Confirmation Project at a Press Conference in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria reports that with the launched of the web-based solution, the era of bringing out the aged pensioners for field verification is over.
The PTAD boss who disclosed that the web-based software application was designed to confirm the aliveness of Pensioners, said, the project would Commence fully on October 14, 2021.
The Executive Secretary said, “the “! AM Alive” Confirmation Solution is a web-based software designed to enable our pensioners, to easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood, using either a smartphone or a computer system.
“This solution takes the pensioner through a three-step confirmation process that ends with a text message response. The confirmation process consists of:
1. Identification process a. Enter your pensioner’s number b. Enter your bank account number
2. Take your photo (it will be validated with the existing picture in the PTAD database)
3. Perform the aliveness validation by moving your face to follow the moving object on the screen.
“Kindly note that Pensioners’ BVN, ATM Card details and ATM Card PIN ARE NOT REQUIRED for the confirmation process and we warn our Pensioners to BEWARE of Fraudsters.
“The Directorate has decided to deploy the application in phases, starting with Fifty Thousand (50,000) pensioners cut across the four operational departments and the six geo-political zones, selected to participate in this pilot phase.
“On the successful implementation of this pilot phase, we will deploy the application on a full scale at predetermined intervals on a continuous basis for all verified pensioners on the payroll.
“Kindly be informed that pensioners who are part of this pilot phase have been notified by PTAD via SMS. Pensioners who did not receive the SMS, should kindly note that they are not part of the pilot phase, and would not be able to gain access to the platform to confirm their aliveness at this time.
“All Pensioners will be duly informed when the application is deployed on a full scale and is available for all pensioners.
“We wish to use this opportunity to assure our esteemed pensioners that the “! Am Alive” confirmation solution was designed with their utmost welfare in mind leveraging on accuracy, reliability, user friendliness and convenience.
“We had promised that the era of bringing out our aged pensioners for field verification is over, and we stand by our promise.
“Be rest assured that nobody can tamper with your pension payment through the “! 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 so that we can continue to pay your pension.
“In the coming weeks, we intend to carry out massive awareness campaign on this, to sensitise the pensioners and the general public. As always, we are ready and available to answer any questions you might have on the ‘I Am Alive’, she said.
According to her, 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.
“A major gain of the verification exercise was the reduction of the Directorate’s payroll by almost 18% equivalent to about Fifty thousand (50,000 pensioners) as a result of removal of ineligible pensioners from the payroll.
“Furthermore, over Twenty Thousand (20,000) eligible pensioners who were hitherto not on payroll were enrolled, Eighteen Thousand and FortySix (18,046) pensioners comprising of ex-workers of defunct and privatised agencies who had hitherto not been considered for pension were also enrolled. 312 War-Affected Police Officers granted amnesty in the year 2000 were paid their arrears and put on our payroll”, she added.
Speaking to our correspondent, the General Secretary of Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Elder Actor Zal described the PTAD initiative as laudable.
He said, the union work in collaboration with PTAD for the success of the project.
“This will go a long way in reducing our members’ stress, therefore, it is highly appreciated.
“We will work with PTAD to disseminate the information to our members”, he added¹.