The Lagos government is preparing to use biometric identification for its pension payments. The bluntly titled “I’M Alive” initiative is intended to prevent disbursement issues related to double-payments and fraud.
The civil Service Pensions Office is now seeking to register all pensioners’ fingerprint biometric data through 16 facilities scattered throughout the state. Eligible citizens need only to bring their state identity cards in order to get signed up, after which the government will be able to match their biometric and biographic data when disbursing pension payments.
Similar measures are beginning to be taken elsewhere in the world. The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, for example, announced early last year that it would use iris scanning to verify the identities of pensioners, and similarly a facial recognition system deployed by Ireland’s Department of Social Protection has helped to cut down welfare fraud.
Meanwhile, biometric deployments have flourished in Nigeria, with use cases ranging from registering mobile users to cracking down on payroll fraud in the civil service. Lagos’ pensioner identification project furthers the trend, and should help to save the state government some money as it cleans up its pension payment system.
February 9, 2016 – by Alex Perala