The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday revealed that the 2020 bi-annual verification of its retired officials, usually known as “I am Alive,” will be held virtually through online Biometric and Facial Verification in replacement of the existing method.
Speaking at a Press Conference held in Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, said the new approach is in furtherance of the government’s efforts to reduce the effects of COVlD-19 pandemic in the State, and in observance of physical distancing rules and protocols.
“This new initiative represents a total departure from the usual verification exercise whereby pensioners are expected to be physically present at their respective Local Government Areas for the verification exercise and revalidation of their documents”, Ponnle explained.
She added that “The Y2020 online Biometric Verification Exercise of Pensioners will now be done at the Civil Service Pensions Office with verification of all pensioners in batches of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas. Therein, selected staff will be assigned to conduct online interviews from allocated telepoints/telecentres within the Office for respective pensioners”.
Explaining the role of ICT in the new verification method, the Commissioner noted that optimal use of technology will form an integral part of Y2020 biometric verification exercise with the use of Zoom/Skype, or any of the Cloud 1CT applications, to replace the usual physical appearance of pensioners for the ”I Am Alive” exercise.
She explained that the modalities for the online verification involves pensioners using any of the specified online applications to gain access to officials of the Commission for verification of their documents and confirmation that they are alive.
Mrs. Ponnle expressed optimism about the technology-driven process, saying plans are in place to make the process seamless and orderly for the retirees.
While seeking the cooperation of all the relevant stakeholders concerned to make this first-of-its-kind initiative achievable, the Commissioner assured the pensioners of due diligence, adequate sensitisation and publicity from beginning to the end of the exercise.
“I want to thank the entire Civil Service Pensions Office for this initiative and for their readiness to confront this daunting task. I am very confident that the staff are up to the task and would make a great success of the entire exercise at the end”, the Commissioner stated.
She appreciated Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for his thoughtfulness and compassion for pensioners in the State, describing him as a listening leader, who approved the initiative despite other competing priorities of the State.