Oyo State Government has begun bio metric data verification exercise for retired primary school teachers and local government workers in the State in order to identify genuine pensioners and put an end to various abnormalities identified in the payment of ongoing gratuity to beneficiaries in the State.
The State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon.Bimbo Kolade stated this while addressing the pensioners during the flag off of the bio-metric data verification exercise at Simeon Adebo Staff Development Center, Secretariat, Ibadan.
Kolade said the verification exercise was designed to make the process of payment of gratuity easier, eliminate the ghost pensioners, among the retirees and to distinguish the living from the dead pensioners in the state.
He reiterated that the verification exercise would not affect the issuance of the cheques to pensioners that had been on for a while but made payment procedure more effective, adding, “As it is known that the world is now in digital era, Oyo state government deems it fit to come up with bio-metric data verification exercise in order to have data base for future purpose which will not be limited to retirees but extend to both serving primary School Teachers and Local government workers in the State”.
In his address, the Chairman, Bio-Metric Data Verification Exercise Committee, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, hinted that the exercise would assist the State Government in paying gratuity to pensioners as and when due and to curb fraudulent acts in the system.
He warned ghost pensioners parading themselves as genuine pensioners to desist from the illicit acts, adding that anybody caught would be seriously dealt with.
Speaking at the event, the Secretary, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Oyo State Branch, Comrade Segun Abatan, commended the state government for the initiative, noting that the exercise which the union had been clamouring for, would afford the state government opportunity to pay the pending pensions of their members at ease.