…Process To Fast-track Record Cleaning

The Office of Local Government Establishment, Training and Pensions, in collaboration with the Local Government Staff Pensions Board, has commenced the online “I’m Alive” verification of pensioners towards establishing the current status of all Lagos State pensioners. 

In his address at the flag-off ceremony in Ikeja, on Friday, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Local Government Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, urged retirees to make use of the opportunity to process their accrued benefits, pointing out that the electronic exercise is to address key issues of safety and provide comfort for the retirees.

“We are mindful of the current COVID-19 challenge, especially the third wave, in which the elderly are more susceptible and vulnerable. Hence, the need for retirees to conduct the exercise in the comfort of their homes from any part of the country or world”, he said.

Bamgboye further stated that the exercise is also geared towards effective record cleaning as few of the retirees might have passed away but the occurrence was not reported by their next-of-kin, adding that unreported deaths unjustly remain on the payroll.

He said, “There are also some persons whose records are not complete and must be updated. The State Government has some lofty plans for the retirees and would require a number of their details for us to provide such services. We have carried out various forms of awareness in both the electronic and print media on this exercise to ensure that no one is left out of the process”.

Explaining that the exercise is for retirees from the Unified Local Government Service, those in the teaching and non-teaching service of the primary school system as well as Federally devolved retirees, the Permanent Secretary added the process also includes LAWMA retirees recognised in the Unified Local Government Service.

 “We are aware that some of them are in the diaspora, but thankfully, the world is a global village now. Wherever they are, we can reach them. We have also made provisions for a supplementary exercise for those who might miss out on the ongoing verification exercise happening between July and August 2021”, he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Local Government Staff Pensions Board, Mr. Kamal Abiodun Bayewu, reiterated that the exercise was designed for the convenience of pensioners so that they can partake from any part of the world via technology

He said, “We have over 9000 retirees and for us, we want to capture as many as possible. Last year, we had a success rate of over 98% and we are hoping to have a 100% rate this year, so it is an ongoing exercise”. 

“We are mindful of challenges with the Internet. We hope to invest in technology such that we would partner with some network providers to have a seamless exercise. The goal is to ensure that all those that receive pension are still alive”, Bayewu noted.

The Auditor-General for Local Governments, Mrs. Idiat Adesumbo Abolarin, said the online verification exercise is a welcome development as retirees had to come from various locations in the past.

“Now, they can partake in the exercise from the comfort of their homes”, she said.