PTAD, scholarship

*Launches ‘I am alive” software for S’South

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

THE Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, has reiterated its commitment towards ensuring that the welfare of its pensioners was sustained.

Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, stated this weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, during a two-day Stakeholders Forum and the launch of, “I am Alive” Confirmation Solution, organised for South South geo-political zone.

Ejikeme explained that the online application
designed to enable PTAD pensioners easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood using either smartphone or a computer system.

She listed other steps so far taken by the Directorate to ensure the welfare of its pensioners was sustained to include Mop-up verification across all geo-political zones conducted for pensioners that missed the field verification exercise previously due to one reason or another.

Her words: “Despite the lockdown in 2020, PTAD continued to pay monthly pensions promptly, resolve compaints, and even cleared accrued arrears, death benefits to some Next-Of- Kin and one-off payments of some defunct agencies such as the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Ex-workers of Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) and some pensioners of NITEL/MTEL.

“We are consequently in collaboration with some of our stakeholders including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Senior Citizens Center and the Federal Ministry of Health, to see how making health insurance available to our pensioners can be a reality.

“We will continue to prioritise the welfare of our pensioners, and we call on all the Pension Unions under the Defined Benefit Sheme, and other stakeholders for their support in achieving this feat. Today we have just launched “I am Alive” Confirmation Solution.

“The whole idea behind this scheme is that we want to ensure it is going to give us accurate result, and convenience. Most importantly, we want to be sure that it is going to be user friendly for our senior citizens. This is an experiment, and 50,000 pensioners are on this pilot phase that we are using to conduct this experiment”

She assured that the pilot phase of “I am Alive” which had already been launched for the North central would also be done in the Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, and North West zones, adding that on successful implementation of the pilot, PTAD would deploy the software on a full scale for all verified pensioners on the payroll.

She however, noted that Pensioners don’t require their Bank BVN, ATM Card or Pin for the confirmation process, stressing that they require only Pension number, found on verification slip given to them by PTAD and the account number with which they receive pension from PTAD.

Presenting his goodwill message at the two-day Stakeholders Forum, chairman House of Representatives committee on Pensions, Rt. hon. Alhassan Rumrum thanked PTAD leadership for introducing laudable initiatives into the country’s Pension administration .

Rumrum who was represented by the deputy Chairman House committee on pensions, hon. Bamidele Salam, stressed that it was a gladdening experience for Nigeria to be moving further in the introduction of technology to various aspects of national life, especially one that has to do with the senior citizens.

“It gives us joy that the country is making progress in the area of Pension. I commend the leadership of PTAD for especially leveraging on technology to make sure that we are globally competitive in our pension administration”, He stressed.

Responding to a question from newsmen on what the House committee was doing to also assist to address pension issues at the state level, he said they would appeal to state government to see the need to replicate the innovations put in place by federal agencies into their pension management system.

One of the pensioners, Mr. Chukwudi Adolphus from Delta State while responding to the introduction of the online application simply said, “I am Alive” Confirmation solution, I think is one of the best things that PTAD has done for us. The project is very easy, you do it without any stress. I thank PTAD for this initiative”.

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