2nd May, 2012
Members of the Borno State House of Assembly have visited their colleagues in Lagos State to receive lectures on the best way to prepare, deliberate and finally pass a replicated version of the bill on effective pension administration from the Lagos Assembly.
Leader of the delegation, Ahmed Jaha, who confirmed that the lawmakers comprising members of an ad-hoc committee on Contributory Pension Scheme, explained that they were actually at the Lagos Assembly to seek the assistance and legislative expertise of the Lagos lawmakers towards the realisation of a suitable and functioning pension scheme system that would be acceptable to the workers in Borno State.
Jaha said the committee, which was inaugurated after the second reading of the proposed Pension Law in the state, was on a fact finding mission to the Lagos Assembly to understudy the processes leading to the passage of the bill, as well as equip the committee with likely challenges to be faced in the implementation of the scheme when it becomes operational.
He explained that the Borno Assembly distinguished Lagos State as a leading state that has adopted the scheme and commended the Lagos lawmakers for making it achievable.
He said the law as passed in Lagos had continued to stand the test of time because it was painstakingly handled before it was finally passed.
Jaha said he and his team were keen to know how long it took the State Assembly to pass the law; how long it took Lagos to implement the scheme after the bill was passed into law as well as the challenges that accompanied the passage.
In her response, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Establishment, Training, Pensions and Public Service, Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet, admonished the delegation to embark on massive sensitisation and public enlightenment of their people, as a strategy towards the acceptance of the scheme by the workers.
Omowunmi-Edet said it was important that stakeholders are invited to a public hearing on the bill, while urging the Borno State delegation to consider the welfare of the people as they consider the bill for passage into law.
She further explained that the success of any scheme or programme in a state is based on the legal backing which the Assembly provides for such law.
A Director in the Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, who represented commission, educated the visitors on the technicalities involved in the implementation of the pension scheme.
Mrs. Onanuga in her submission advised the delegation to ensure that professionals are co-opted into key areas in the implementation of the scheme, adding that this was one of the secrets of its success in Lagos State.
The director said Lagos State set a standard that even the National Pension Commission draws from.