The Ogun State Government has began a physical verification exercise for its over 12 thousand pensioners in the state, aimed at having an updated records of the pensioners in the state.
The exercise which would last for 18 days according to a statement by the Press Officer, Bureau of State Pension, Mr. Taoreed Lawal and would be carried out in all the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
Speaking with Journalists after the first verification, held at St. Sebastian Cathedral Hall, Ijebu-Ode, the Permanent Secretary in the Bureau, Mr. Babatunde Agbaje, said the exercise was aimed at having adequate records of genuine retirees in order to ensure prompt payment of their pensions and safe funds for the government through the identification of ghost pensioners.
He said further that the exercise would also afford the agency of capturing finger prints of pensioners which would be input on the data base of the Bureau for future purposes, as well as reducing the stress of pensioners by asking them to come for verification all the times.
“This is the first time that we will be doing biometrics for our pensioners, next time when the Bureau will be asking our pensioners to come for physical verification, it will not involve any documents at all. The moment you are here for another exercise like this, just come alone. Please ensure that you place your hand well on the scanner and once the scanner ticks your hands, it marks you right”, Agbaje said.
He noted that the team have captured over three thousand pensioners in the first 2 weeks of the exercise, held at Ogun East Senatorial District only, adding that when completed the pensioners’ data base would be in the office of the state Accountant General, Auditor General and Bureau, noted that this would make it easier for any of this agencies to retrieve records of pensioners without any stress.
The Permanent Secretary added that the exercise would continue at the Ogun West Senatorial District which comprises of Ayetoro, Ilaro, Ota, and Ogun Central Senatorial District, which is Abeokuta respectively.
In his reaction, a former Permanent Secretary who was part of the exercise, Alhaji Adekunle Adegbite hailed the government for the initiative, adding that the move would completely eradicate sharp practices in the Bureau and alleviate suffering of pensioners from showing up all the time for physical verification.