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FG plans health insurance for pensioners, sets up panel

The Federal Government has set up a committee to look into the provision of health insurance for retired federal workers.

The Executive Secretary of Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, disclosed this at the South East stakeholders’ forum on Thursday.

She said, “The government, under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Health, has established a ministerial committee to look into the issue of providing health insurance for senior citizens.

“PTAD and representatives of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners are members of this committee. We are consequently in collaboration with some of our stakeholders, including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Senior Citizens Centre, and Federal Ministry of Health, to see how making health insurance available to our pensioners can be a reality.”

She said PTAD formally launched the ‘I Am Alive’ confirmation platform, an online application to confirm that pensioners on its monthly pension payroll are alive and should continue to receive their pension.

Ejikeme said the web-based platform was designed to enable its pensioners to easily confirm this from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood using either a smartphone or a computer system.

According to her, the solution takes the pensioner through a three-step confirmation process that ends with a text message response.

She said, “The directorate has decided to deploy the application in phases, starting with 50,000 pensioners cut across the four operational departments and the six geopolitical zones, selected to participate in this pilot phase.

“On the successful implementation of this pilot phase, we will deploy the application on a full scale at predetermined intervals on a continuous basis for all verified Pensioners on the payroll.”

According to her, the era of bringing out the aged pensioners for field verification is over.

Ejikeme said in 2021, the directorate received the repatriated £26.5m from the United Kingdom, which was pension funds under investment with Crown Agents Investment Management Limited, United Kingdom.

“The funds have been used to settle the liabilities of the defunct agencies,” she said.

She said the PTAD’s quest to recover pension assets with some insurance underwriters had been yielding some positive results, adding, “We have fully recovered the pension assets with two insurance underwriters.”

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