The Lagos State Government has announced that this year edition of its bi-annual verification exercise for its retired officials (“I AM ALIVE”) would be held virtually.
The online 3-week biometric and facial verification exercise is a departure from the norms of the physical presence of retirees across the state at designated places for revalidation of their documents.
The announcement comes with news that the state government has paid N13.75 billion to settle the backlog of entitlement for 6,000 retirees in the past year.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, who made this known during a press conference on Tuesday at Alausa, Ikeja, said that the new approach was in line with government’s efforts to reduce the effects of the COVlD-19 pandemic.
‘The Y2020 online biometric verification exercise of pensioners will now be done in the Civil Service Pensions Office with verification of all pensioners in batches of local government and council development areas,’ she said.
According to the commissioner, select members of staff will be assigned to conduct an online interview from allocated telepoints/telecentres within the Pension’s Office for respective pensioners based on their local government area
She explained that the modalities for the online verification involve pensioners using the Zoom/Skype or any of the Cloud ICT applIcations to replace the usual physical appearance of pensioners for the ”I Am Alive” validation session of the exercise.
Responding to a question on possible hitches of the exercise, Ponnle said: ‘We are also not unmindful of the associated challenges with new initiatives especially technologically-driven ideas and as such we have plans in place to make the process seamless and orderly for our retirees.’
The commissioner, who sought the cooperation of all the relevant stakeholders concerned to make the initiative achievable, assured the pensioners that due diligence would be ensured from the beginning to the end of the exercise.
Ponnle thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his commitment to pensioners and their interests in spite of the challenges of pandemic measures.