Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government on Tuesday said it would next week commence biometric verification of over 90,000 military pensioners across the federation.
The exercise which is to kick off with the flag-off by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali will come under the annual Military Pensioners Verification Exercise (MPVE).
Speaking in Abuja, acting Chairman of Military Pensions Board, Brig. Gen. Adekunle Adesope, explained that â€œthe 2017 verification exercise is scheduled to take place from November 27 to December 9, 2017, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and all the 36 states of the federation.
â€œFor the convenience of our esteemed pensioners, specific dates have been allotted to the various rank groups. This is a deliberate plan to have manageable crowd throughout the period and thus ensure a hitch and stress free verification exercise.
â€œThe conduct of verification exercise will involve finger print capturing matching with the biometric details currently in the MPB payroll data base.
â€œAccordingly, pensionersâ€™ cooperation, patience and orderliness would be required to ensure a smooth exercise.â€
He stated that â€œpensioners are enjoined to honour these dates in view of the fact that they are part of the crowd control measures designed for an orderly and successful conduct of the exercise.
â€œHowever, the team leaders are at liberty to attend to groups on dates not allocated to them if all original allottees have been attended to and time permits.
â€œThe Minister of Defence is expected to flag off the exercise on the November 27 2017 at the Mogadishu Cantonment Asokoro, Abuja, by 10a.m.
â€œPensioners are expected to attend the verification exercise at any of the designated centres nearest to them irrespective of their state of last verification.â€
Adesope added: â€œPensioners will not be allowed to change their banks, account numbers or any other personal details during the verification exercise.
â€œAll military pensioners residing outside the country are advised to visit Military Pensions Board office, Abuja, for verification whenever they are in the country from November 27, 2017, to February 28, 2018.
â€œThe verification exercise involves biometric verification using fingerprint capturing device.
â€œThe inclusion of biometric for the exercise is to enable accurate upgrade of the MPBâ€™s database. The finger print pattern, when cross-matched as currently done by the board, will provide high level of authentication and accuracy in line with the global best practice.
â€œThe board, therefore, expects maximum cooperation from pensioners in this regard by ensuring that their hands are clean and oil free to prevent delays.â€
Adesope stressed that the current challenges facing military pensions verification which he said has created confusion mostly about deceased pensioners, adding: â€œIt is therefore important that pensioners cooperate with the officials to eliminate fake and deceased pensionersâ€™ names from the pay roll.
â€œThe new data base that would be collated during the exercise will be operationalised in February 2018. I therefore want to enjoin our esteemed pensioners to take the exercise very seriously to ensure a hitch free and successful verification exercise.â€