Fashola Doles Out N2.8b To Pensioners

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Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State today paid N2.8 billion to 464 retired employees of the Lagos State Public Service under the old pension scheme.

The event, which is the 6th Retirement Bond Certificate presentation ceremony was held at the NECA House, Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, saw hundreds of retirees present to receive their bond certificates.

Presenting the bond certificates to the retirees, Fashola said the government had continued to ensure that retirees under the old Pay-as-you go pension receive their pension entitlements regularly.

“In fact, the accrued pension rights of N2,788,368,394.27 under the pay-as-you-go scheme, have been paid into the accounts of today’s 464 retirees.

“You may now choose whether you want a programmed withdrawal provided by your pension fund administrators or an annuity for life provided by licensed insurance companies selected by the Lagos State Government after rigorous screening,” he said.

Fashola stated that in October 2010, the government commenced the payment of accrued pension rights into the retirement savings accounts opened by public servants with their chosen Pension Fund Administrators.

“Since then, we have credited the retirement savings account of 1,471 retirees with accrued pension rights of N7,544,922,856.70.

“We have also consistently ensured the regular payment of monthly contributions and as at June 2012, N33.5 billion had been paid into the public servants’ retirement savings accounts,” said Fashola, who was represented by the Head of Service, HOS, Adesegun Ogunlewe.

The governor added that the state had established a fully automated pension commission and the only state to issue retirement benefit bond redemption certificates “and the only state government that has committed almost N45 billion to the contributory pension scheme administration.”

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Director General, Lagos State Pension Commission, LASPEC, Mr Rotimi Hussain said the commission had a total of 1,471 retirees who had already received their lump sum to enable them start off either small business enterprises or complete housing or other projects.

Hussain said that from available record, only seven states out of the 36 states of the Federation had fully adopted the scheme by making adequate deductions and remitting such deductions to their retirement saving accounts of their respective staff with the pension fund administration.

He added that about 12 other states are reported to be at various stages of adoption of the scheme, saying that the government would continue to be in the vanguard of good leadership.

Meanwhile, Governor Fashola Tuesday called for greater attention to technical and vocational education in the country saying it is the only way to grow the economy both at the state and national levels.Governor Fashola, who spoke at the official commissioning of the Samsung Engineering Academy at the Government Technical College, Agidingbi, argued that without an information technology background and backbone, it would be difficult for the  economy to grow.

“We are moving into cashless banking. A lot of electronic data would be needed and where are the support technicians? I see them in the students of this academy and our upcoming children. We need homes, we need power and we need to produce more water. So, we are going to need the engineers and technicians in very large numbers”, the Governor said.

According to the Governor, “We cannot produce too much of these technicians and engineers because we have a deficit of them. We need to rebuild the country. This nation is being run on an infrastructure that is about 40 years old. So, anybody who is investing in technology, in technical engineering is investing in the right place”.

“That is where our Power will come from; that is where our factories will come from; that is where so many things will be developed and maintained”, Governor Fashola said adding, “I am convinced that we are on the right track.

-Kazeem Ugbodaga

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