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Automation of pension scheme will ensure transparency- Salam

Automation of pension scheme will ensure transparency- Salam

From Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
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The Vice Chairman, Standing Committee on Pension in the House of Representatives,  Mr. Bamidele Salam, has said automation of the pension system in Nigeria would prevent diversion and denial of pensioners’ entitlements.

He made the assertion while fielding questions from newsmen in Ede, during the official opening ceremony of his constituency office.

Salam, representing Ede, Ejigbo and Egbedore Federal Constituency expressed worries over what he described as stiff resistance of the introduction of technology in the pension system by some Nigerians insisting that technology would ensure transparency and speed in the payment of pensioners’ entitlements.

The lawmaker said he would push for the introduction of full technology in identifying, verifying the pensioners, and ensuring that the funds meant for them are not diverted nor kept away from them.

“One of the things I believe is wrong with our pension system is that we refused to employ technology in Nigeria. I don’t know why Nigeria is afraid of technology.

“Technology ensures transparency, speed, it ensure that you engage people in a manner that gives them respect. I am not happy that pensioners are made to queue up for verifications every year.

“People who have put their best to the nation’s service for so many years, people who are on stretchers and wheelchairs are made to come from many kilometers to get their entitlements, It is because we are resisting introduction. The first thing we will push for is the automation of the pension system.

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“Employing full technology in identifying the pensioners, verifying the pensioners, and ensuring that the funds that are meant for them are not diverted and not kept away from them

“A friend of mine who retired in the railway cooperation died without receiving his pension entitlement. I heard that some of the contributory pensioners have not received their entitlements and some of them have died in the course of waiting for their gratuities. I think it’s time for us to change that orientation,” he averred.

Meanwhile, the federal lawmaker appointed some persons living with disabilities as aides while vowing that he would fulfil all the promises he made during his electioneering campaign.

He stressed that he was determined to make sure he gave people of his constituency equal opportunity to strive and feel the impact of government in  the constituency.

No fewer than 35 Senior Special Assistants (SSA), Special Assistant (SA) and Constituency Relations Officers (CRC) were appointed to manage the constituency office.

According to the lawmaker,  the gesture was part of his resolve to create job for unemployed youths  so as to reduce poverty within the constituency.

” I feel bad when i see teeming youths roaming round the streets without having anything doing”.

He however, thanked the Speaker of the House , Rt Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila for appointing him as a member of ECOWAS Parliament and Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Pension.

Earlier in his reaction, the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Hon  Soji Adagunodo, commended Hon Salam for making significant impact in the lives of the people,   saying he has contributed immensely to the development of his constituency within the short space in office.

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Adagunodo who was represented by Hon Bola Ajao, applauded the Honourable for giving priority to the welfare of his constituents , as he charged  him to sustain the tempo.

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