In pursuant of its resolve to put smile on the faces of pensioners in the state, the Lagos Government said it has paid out a total sum of N150billion as pension benefits to its civil service retirees in the past 10 years, while N66.5billion has been paid out to 15,709 retirees in the state in the last five years.
Speaking at the 46th presentation of Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates to retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme held in Lagos recently, Dr. Akintola, Benson Oke, Honourable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry Of Establishments, Training And Pensions said that in less than three years (August 2015 to December 2017), the state has paid accrued pension rights of N33 billion to 8,300 Retirees.
According to him, the Accrued pension rights previously paid before the current administration (2010 to mid- 2015) amounts to N33, 645 billion paid to 7,409 retirees, implying that from the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentations in 2010, the State has paid accrued pension rights of over N66.5 billion to more than 15,709 retirees/withdrawn staff;
He said: “The State Government is also very much committed to the regular contribution of the monthly deduction of 7.5percent from the salary of every employee and the payment of the employer’s 7.5percent contribution, noting that as at November 2017 the total contributions remitted to the pension funds administrators (PFAs) from April 2007 to date is 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 disclosed that the sum of N1billion would be credited into the Retirement Savings Account of the 46th batch of retirees of the Contributory Pension Scheme, noting that with such commitment and performance, it is not surprising that retiring public officers in Lagos State now look forward to retirement with more confidence and joy.
Assuring that the State Government through Lagos Pension Commission (LASPEC) would continue to ensure that public service retirees not only get what is due to them statutorily, Oke said, they will also continue to receive, through other agencies and programmes additional support and assistance that will add value to their lives in retirement.
According to him, the commitment is in fulfillment of the declaration by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who, in his Inaugural Speech said: “I shall run an open government of inclusion that will not leave anybody behind. No matter your age, sex, tribe or any other status as long as you reside in Lagos, we will make Lagos work for you”.
“Our retirees can take joy in the fact that they are not, and will not be left behind in the scheme of things by the Lagos State Government. On this note, let me emphasise that I am delighted to be part of your joy today. You have all served in various capacities and sectors to make life better for the people of Lagos State and, in retirement, our commitment is to assist you in making the right choices that will enable the attainment of financial comfort during retirement.
As you retire, I wish to advise you to embrace the joys and challenges of this new phase of life. One thing that will stand you in good stead is the readiness to take advice from competent and reliable sources. In this respect, please do not hesitate to contact LASPEC or even the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions should you require clarifications or advice regarding the modalities surrounding your retirement matters”, he Counseled.