From Idongesit Inyang
The Cross River government has explained that the current verification exercise on pensioners in the state known as “AM ALIVE’ was a way of keeping track of pensioners with a view to getting accurate data about them.
The state auditor-general, Comrade John Odey, gave the explanation when he met with the executive of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, (NUP) in his office recently in Calabar.
Odey, who admonished pensioners to always take their verification exercise seriously, said that this will enable the government to continue to keep track of them.
Odey revealed that the “AM ALIVE” approach to pension verification aims to lessen the sufferings that pensioners go through during their periodical verification exercises.
He hoped that the programme would improve to the extent that pensioners will perform their verifications at the comfort of their home without necessarily having to go the bank.
The auditor-general enjoined the pensioners to help disseminate the information of the on-going exercise to their colleagues, some of whom are in the interior, and expressed confidence in the robust structure of the union and its ability to handle the affairs of its members.
He however regretted the scenario where pensioners assume ignorance of the exercise, maintaining that it helps government to manage and channel its scarce resources in the face of other compelling needs.
While expressing the hope that no pensioner would be left uncaptured at the end of the exercise which was billed to end in March this year, he assured of government’s commitment to ensure that their monthly pensions are paid and at when due.
The chairman of the state branch of NUP, Comrade Emmanuel Adie, appreciated the role of the union was being recognised by the office of the state auditor-general.
Adie, who pledged to disseminate information on the ongoing verification exercise to all their members, maintained that they will do their best to ensure that no pensioner is left unverified.
The ongoing verification exercise which commenced from January 10, this year, is slated for March 31, 2022.