- Minister acknowledges App’s numerous benefits, urges pensioners to key into Solution
- Executive Secretary says software is game changer for pensioners
By Seun Adams
The Federal Government, through the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), over the weekend announced the full roll out of the “I Am Alive Confirmation (IAAC) Solution for universal use.
While acknowledging the imperative of the software as timely, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who was represented by Mrs. Omobola Dada, a Director in the Ministry, commended PTAD for introducing the IAAC solution to solve past bottlenecks associated with pension administration.
The Minister urged pensioners to take advantage of the solution by making sure that they key into the application, adding that the confirmation solution has numerous benefits that cannot be ignored by our elder citizens.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, while fielding questions from Journalists at the sideline of the event, said the ability of pensioners to continue to receive their pensions will henceforth depend on confirmation by the pensioner that he or she is still alive using the I’ Am Alive Confirmation Solution.
However, PTAD has provided a 6-month grace period for every department and their pensioners to complete their “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution.
According to her, the solution is a game changer for pensioners adding that in the event within the 6 months period if they do not confirm that that they are alive using the APP there is the possibility that such pensioner will be removed from the payroll.
She said: “You may recall that on the 12th of October 2021, PTAD 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 (DBS) easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes 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, she said 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 IAAC solution
Ejikeme, added that following the launch in 2021, PTAD began with the pilot phase, where the application was tested with 50,000 randomly-selected pensioners across the 4 operational departments across 6 geo-political zones. The aim, she added was to test its efficacy and user-friendliness, bearing in mind that this novel initiative is meant for our senior citizens.
The Executive Secretary, said, “The journey to test and provide this Solution has taken PTAD over 18 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.
“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.”
According to her, 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, explaining that PTAD does not need pensioner’s BVN, ATM Card number or PIN to process the “I Am Alive” Confirmation (IAAC) Solution.
She assured that nobody can tamper with pensioners’ payment through the “I Am Alive” platform, adding: “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.” The Executive Secretary, said.
The key benefits of the 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.
To ensure an efficient and effective delivery, the availability of the Confirmation program has been staggered according to departments as follows:
S/N Department Start Date End Date: Police Pensioners 14th April, 2023 to 13th October 2023, Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensioners 1st June, 2023 31st December, 2023, Civil Service Pensioners 1st July, 2023 31st January, 2024, Parastatals Pensioners 1st August, 2023 to 28th February, 2024.