Retirees gave the praise at the launch of the “Am Alive” app by the Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, in southeast Enugu on Friday.
They were of the view that President Buhari has continued to provide retirees with unprecedented respect and commitment to their well-being throughout his administration.
Temple Ubani, president general of the Federal Association of Private Sector and Para-State Pensioners, said that Buhari had changed the course and the pension administration system by the singular act of approving technology to help the system.
“It is clear that our kind president is continually thinking about how to improve our lots and this will be further achieved with the ‘Am Alive’ app that can be operated from the comfort of our homes.
“Operating the Am Alive app is so simple with just a few steps that you must follow and receive a confirmation,” said Mr. Ubani.
Edwin Ofoegbu, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, Enugu State, said that the administration of Buhari through PTAD had changed the administration of the pension system to the extent that we have a clear departure from the recent past.
Mr. Ofoegbu said that the Am Alive app is such a transformative initiative, adding that those days of traveling from home to a distant destination for verification are over.
“The collapse of pensioners in the queue is over, as well as the fact that pensioners were stranded, becoming homeless and beggars in the city for verification.
“At least in my life, I have seen the ‘Change’ that President Buhari promised through the new way and how the elderly of this great country are treated fairly, with respect and love,” he said.
Emma Adu, National Secretary for Pensioners NITEL / MTEL, thanked the Federal Government through PTAD for presenting an application “so easy and less cumbersome” with which the elderly can identify themselves.
“We salute President Buhari for the changes we have been seeing as retirees, spearheaded by PTAD.
“The last one is the Am Alive app, which is a million-dollar innovation for us as pensioners.
“The idea, the burden of traveling and even some uncertainties in the pension verification centers have been taken away from us with the Am Alive app,” Adu said.
In a speech, PTAD Executive Secretary Dr. Chioma Ejikeme said that the Am Alive app is a giant step towards reducing future stress for retirees; while confirming whether an individual pensioner is alive or not.
“With the Am Alive application, you can do your verification in the comfort of your home and it will arrive at the PTAD database simultaneously; thus, a stress-free, fluid, concise, and friendly tech app that all retirees can relate to.
“Today’s launch of the application is a test to determine its viability; while the retirees here today would act as those who will train their peers.
“In every community you should find or have people using simple Android phones that you can use to enter our website and complete the simple requirements and get their confirmation at the end,” said Mr. Ejikeme.
The executive secretary also revealed that the Federal Government has created a liaison committee with the Federal Ministry of Health to see the possibility of placing all older adults in a universal health coverage scheme.
“This arrangement, when implemented, will guarantee optimal health for all of our seniors and all retirees will be included and will be beneficiaries of the plan,” he said.
Earlier, at a Pension Stakeholders Forum (town hall meeting), retirees urged PTAD to investigate the issue of some retirees whose names were removed from the payroll but who had been verified.
They also called for the creation of a forum where the president or secretary of the pension unions can relate and interact with PTAD executives on issues that concern their individual members, among others.
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