The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has launched an online application to capture the information of retirees and process the benefits due to them.
In 2020, PenCom had explained that it would introduce an electronic process for easy authentication of retirees due to COVID-19.
The commission said the process would include self-assisted and the pension fund administrator (PFA) assisted options.
With this application, the commission said it aims to capture about 11,000 civil servants who are billed to retire in 2021.
Anyim Nyerere, PenCom commissioner, Technical, told reporters in Abuja on Monday on the sidelines of a training for Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) at the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Nyerere said the application was developed owing to the fact that physical contact has been limited because of COVID-19, adding that it will help the federal government draw up the budget for retirees.
“In terms of value, we are in a dynamic situation, this exercise was supposed to be physical capturing of the would-be retirees of 2020 and 2021 years,” Nyerere said.
“Now it is not impossible to do it because of COVID-19 pandemic, so that is why the online application was developed. The benefit [of this app] is to enable us to capture the would-be retirees which would enable the budget proposal for the retirees by the federal government.”
The commissioner also said measures have been taken to ensure that information about the retirees are not hacked.
“About the safety mechanisms, like I told you, we are aware of what is happening in the cyber world and that is why we put in some control mechanisms, that is why you heard me mention about authorisation, there are people who will authorise from the various PDOs in the ministries, agencies and departments,” he said.
“Once we have the authorisation from that place, the same thing will have to be verified at the other end.
“This training session and the people you see here are pension desk officers (PDOs) from the various MDAs.
“These would-be retirees are from these MDAs, so automatically the information is at their doorsteps, and those that are not computer literate is why this training is germane, these desk officers will put them through to ensure that the right information is provided.”
Also speaking, Abdulhaman Saleem, head contribution, bound and redemption of the commission, said receiving information electronically will enable PenCom to process the benefits of the retirees faster.
“The number of retirees we are expecting, we are looking at 11,000 retirees for 2021, and the major benefit is accuracy and timeliness in terms of processing speed,” Saleem said.
“Initially we were doing manually, physically, collecting documents but now the documents will be sent electronically which makes it faster and easier to process.”
FG declares public holiday to mark Eid-ul-Mawlud
The Federal Government has declared October 19 as a public holiday in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, on Friday.
The statement stated that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.
Aregbesola congratulated all Nigerian Muslim faithful, both at home and in the diaspora, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Mawlud.
He admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which were the virtues of the Holy Prophet, as doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.
The minister enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality.
“As the indisputable leader of our race, we (Nigerians) must show responsible leadership in Africa,” he said.
Aregbesola called on Nigerians to refrain from all divisive tendencies capable of causing crisis in the country.
He also urged Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans.
“Irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity I urge you to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of,” he said.
FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC
The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.
“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”
Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.
He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered. Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”
Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.
According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.
The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.
“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.
“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.
He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.
Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.
Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.
Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation
Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.
He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.
The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.
“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.
“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?
“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”
The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.
“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.
“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”
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