As part of measures to ensure the eradication of ghost pensioners from the payroll of the military and save funds for the government, the Federal Government has concluded arrangement to organise a nationwide verification for military pensioners across the country.
Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Dabo, Chairman, Military Pensions’ Board, who disclosed the development during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, stated that the exercise, which is designed to hold simultaneously across the country, will be conducted by the Federal Government and the Military Pensions Board from October 6, 2015 to October 20, 2015.
Dabo said that the exercise would also give the pensioners access to the Defence Health Maintenance Limited to register for the National Health Insurance Scheme.
According to him, the exercise, which should have been held annually, was being organised for the first time in three years to ensure effective pension administration in the military.
While stressing that the exercise, designed to feature photo geometry and fingerprints patters, would help the MPB to update its database, the AVM urged all pensioners to embrace the forthcoming exercise and to take it seriously as those who were not captured during the exercise would be removed from the payroll of the board by November, 2015.
He noted that the exercise was meant for pensioners on the payroll of the board as of September, 2015, adding that it would also consolidate the digitalisation process of the board now at the stage of completion.
The Board Pension Chairman said, “It is important to note that this verification exercise, which is an annual exercise, has not been conducted for the past three years. The exercise is therefore crucial towards effective administration of military pensions, especially as it would enable the board to appropriately update its record.
“The exercise will also provide avenue for pensioners to have access to the Defence Health Maintenance limited for their registration. The purpose of this year’s exercise is therefore to verify all existing pensioners on the current pay roll and update their records accordingly.
“Pensioners who may have died before this exercise will be dropped from the pay roll. The next-of-kins of such deceased pensioners are expected to come to the board to apply for the balance of bulk pension if the pensioner had not earned up to 60 months pension prior to his or her death.
“The exercise will enhance the elimination of fraudulent names otherwise known as ghost pensioners from the pay roll. It will further strengthen the credibility of our database and ensure that all ghost pensioners who had hitherto beaten the system are weeded out thereby leading to increased savings for the government.”
By Patrick Aigbokhan