From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Pensioners in the South East have lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a new technology based method which will help ensure easy verification of pensioners in the zone.
The pensioners gave the commendation at the launch of “Am Alive” Application by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) in the South-East held in Enugu at the weekend.
The pensioners also said that President Buhari has continued to accord pensioners unprecedented respect and has shown commitment to their welfare throughout his administration.
Chief Temple Ubani, President-General of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria, said that Buhari had changed the tide and system of pension administration by the singular act of approving technology to assist the system.
“It is clear that our amiable President is continually thinking on how to better our lots and this will be further achieved by the ‘Am Alive’ application that can be operated in the comfort of our homes.
“Operating the Am Alive application is so simple with a few steps you are through and given a confirmation,” Ubani said.
Mr Edwin Ofoegbu, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Enugu State, said that Buhari’s administration through PTAD had changed the pension system administration to the extent that we have a clear departure from the recent past.
Ofoegbu said that the Am Alive application was such a transformational initiative, adding that those days of traveling from one’s home to a far destination for verification are over.
“Slumping of pensioners on queue is over as well as pensioners being stranded, turning into destitute and beggars in the city for their verification is over.
In an address, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, said that the Am Alive application was a giant step meant to reduce the stress of pensioners going forward; while confirming whether an individual pensioner is alive or not.
“With the Am Alive application, you can do your verification in the comfort of your home and it will hit the PTAD data-base simultaneously; thus, a stress-free, seamless, concise and friendly technological app all pensioners can relate to.
“Today’s launch of the application is a test run to determine its workability; while the pensioners here today would act as those that will train their fellow colleagues.
“In every community you must find or have people using simple android phones that you can use to enter our website and fill up the simple requirements and get your confirmation at the end,” Ejikeme said.
Ejikeme also revealed that the Federal Government had set-up a committee to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health to see to the possibility of placing all senior citizens in a universal health insurance coverage scheme.