Benin The Federal Government on Monday in Benin commenced the screening of its pensioners under the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 800 pensioners, out of the 5,900 expected to undergo the verification, had so far completed the exercise.
The Executive Secretary of the Directorate, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor while addressing the pensioners, said that the exercise would help create credible database for genuine Federal Government pensioners.
She said that no pensioner was expected to pay money for verification as it was free.
She disclosed that on completion of the exercise which would last for 10 days, computation and quality assurance of the verified data would be made before being enlisted into the payroll.
She further disclosed that it would take three months before the verified data were enlisted into the payroll.
She said that measures had been put in place to carry out mobile verification of pensioners who were bedridden in hospitals, adding that it would be done at the end of the exercise in Benin.
Meanwhile, Sen Foster Ogola, a member of the Senate Committee on Establishment, has commended the exercise.
Ogola said that the exercise was better organised and very peaceful and the number to be screened and verified daily was controlled while there was no rush or stampede as against previous similar exercises.
He said that there was the need to treat pensioners well after meritoriously serving the nation for 35 years.
He noted that PTAD was on the right track, as the directorate had inherited a faulty data of pensioners.
He explained that with the new database to be created, government would be able to know the genuine pensioners, adding that as lawmakers, accountability was a priority.
The senator, who is also the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT, told NAN that measures would be put in place to ensure that the bio-metric capture process was technologically advanced while also ensuring that PTAD was well funded.
NAN also reports that Rep. Samuel Ikon of the House Committee on Pension, also monitored the exercise as part of his oversight functions.