Lagos pays N1.22 billion to 286 retirees

LASPEC

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right); Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pension, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke (right); Lagos State Head of Service, Mrs. Folashade Adesoye (2nd left) and Director General, State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga during the 46th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation ceremony, at the NECA House Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday.

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right); Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pension, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke (right); Lagos State Head of Service, Mrs. Folashade Adesoye (2nd left) and Director General, State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga during the 46th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation ceremony, at the NECA House Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday.

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday presented retirement benefit of N1.22 billion to 286 retirees under its retirement bond certificate presentation.

This made the total accrued pension rights already paid to 8,252 retirees under the administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in the last 30 months to N33 billion.

Disclosing this at the 46th edition of the periodic Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony held at NECA House, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode said that the government would continue to ensure prompt payment of all rights and entitlements due to its workforce as a way of increasing the morale of workers to effectively discharge their duties as expected.

She added that the fact that the government had made the payment of monthly, pensions of staff a top priority made it won several awards on pension matters over the years.

She appealed to the beneficiaries to spend their entitlements wisely and avoid frivolities, saying that this stage of their lives required them to take things easy and avoid activities that would put their health in jeopardy.

The Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke, disclosed that the total accrued pension rights previously paid before the administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in 2015 amounts to N33.645 billion for 7,409 retirees, adding that since the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentations in 2010, the State had paid accrued pension rights of over N66.6 billion to more than 15,671 retirees and withdrawn staff.

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While saying that the state government was very committed to the regular contribution of the monthly deduction of 7.5 percent from the salary of every employee and the payment of the employers’ 7.5 per cent contribution, Oke said that “as at November 2017, the contributions remitted to the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs from April 2007 to date was about N83 billion.

“In essence, the Lagos State Government’s funding of employees’ pension rights under the Contributory Pension Scheme in a period of 10 years is about N150 billion,” he said.

Also speaking at the Presentation Ceremony, the Director-General of Lagos State Pensions Commission, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, assured the retirees as well as the entire workforce of the state government that structures were already on ground in the pension transitional agencies namely; Teachers’ Establishments Pensions Office, Civil Service Pensions Office, CSPO and Local Government Pensions Board to ensure that retirees under the discontinued Pay As You Go Pension got their pensions monthly at the same time salaries were paid to workers who were still in active service.

Onanuga said that the retirement bond certificate which represented the accrued pension rights made up of gratuity and pension entitlements for active service rendered before the commencement of the Contributory Pensions Scheme, CPS in 2007 woud be presented to 286 retirees at the cost of N1.22 billion on the part of the state government.

“let me quickly remind you that it was the 18th Bond Certificate Presentation that was held when Governor Ambode assumed office in May 2015 and today, we are paying the 46th Batch. Within a period of two years and six months, 28 Bond Certificate Bond Presentations have taken place and total number of beneficiaries within the 30 months period is 8,262. In addition to this, the state government has paid insurance benefits of N325 million from August 2015 to November, 2017 to 104 beneficiaries of named deceased employees,” she said.