Before now, the pensioners’ awareness and verification exercise for those under the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS), was usually done physically across the six geopolitical zones of the country, courtesy of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
But the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic and its emphasis on social distancing has changed this annual rite to a virtual one. With the launch of the pilot phase of the ‘I am alive’ confirmation project, PTAD has began awareness campaigns to sensitise pensioners and the general public.
Currently, the exercise has taken place for pension stakeholders in the North West, North Central and South South geopolitical zones, while that of South West, South East and North East will be done any moment from now.
There are two main verification types, namely; Facial confirmation and fingerprint confirmation. For facial confirmation, the pensioner will log on to PTAD website: www.ptad.gov.ng using a smart phone/computer system, click on the “I AM ALIVE” icon at the top of the page and follow the instructions.
Thereafter, start the “I Am Alive” confirmation process, by following the 2 steps validation process.
Hence, enter your pensioners number; your bank account number, take your photo, which will be validated with the existing picture in the PTAD database and perform the aliveness check by moving your face to follow the moving object on the screen.
When the aliveness check is completed, confirmation page will display ‘Successful.’ After this, the pensioner will receive an SMS notification of the successful completion of the process.
However, if you want fingerprint confirmation, the pensioner will need to access a computer system with finger print device for finger print capturing.
Reasons For Virtual Verification Exercise
The executive secretary, Dr Chioma Ejikeme assures pensioners that the ‘I Am Alive’ confirmation solution was designed with their utmost welfare in mind leveraging on accuracy, reliability, user friendliness and convenience.
She says, “We had promised that the era of bringing out our aged pensioners for field verification is over, and we stand by our promise.”
She reassures pensioners and Next of Kin that PTAD is working hard and will continue to do so to clear any accrued arrears, while ensuring that monthly pensions are paid promptly.
The chairman of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigerian Railway, Alhaji Salami Adeojo notes, “The beauty of this verification exercise, is that unlike the past when retired civil servants queue for verification under the scorching sun, each pensioner is only required to partake in the exercise using android phone to complete their verification process after logging into the website of PTAD and inputting their personal data (code number) and bank account number.”
The chairman further states that after receiving the text message from PTAD, pensioners who don’t have Android phones should visit the secretariat of their respective unions for assistance.