Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Tuesday launched “I Am Alive” software designed to enable pensioners to easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes, using either a smartphone or a computer system.

The Executive Secretary, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, at a conference to launch the software said the directorate decided to deploy the application starting with 50,000 pensioners in the pilot phase.

Dr Ejikeme explained that the 50,000 selected pensioners would cut across the four operational departments and the six geo-political zones of the country.

She said people eligible for the project must be under Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and must have been verified by PTAD before.

“ The 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,”

According to her, the application will take the pensioner through a three-step confirmation process that ends with a text message response and the confirmation process consists of three segments.

“ Identification process, photography and perform the aliveness validation by moving your face to follow the moving object on the screen,” Ejikeme added.

The executive secretary said on the successful implementation of this pilot phase, the directorate would deploy the application on a full scale at predetermined intervals continuously 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 and 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.

“ Be rest assured that nobody can tamper with your pension payment through the “I Am Alive” platform,” she maintained.

Dr Ejikeme reassured the pensioners and their next of kin that PTAD would continue to clear any accrued arrears while ensuring that monthly pensions are paid promptly.

She also emphasised that pensioners’ BVN, ATM Card details and ATM Card PIN were not required for the confirmation process saying “we warn our pensioners to beware of fraudsters.”

Ejikeme said that PTAD earlier embarked on a massive verification exercise which took place between 2014 and 2019 across all the geopolitical zones in the country.

She noted that the verification exercises aimed to ascertain the eligible pensioners under the DBS, enrol 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.

“ A major gain of the verification exercise was the reduction of the directorate’s payroll by almost 18 per cent equivalent to about 50,000 pensioners as a result of removal of ineligible pensioners from the payroll.

“ Over 20,000 eligible pensioners who were hitherto not on payroll were enrolled, 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,” the executive secretary said.