The Lagos State government on Friday said it had paid not less than N125 billion to 29,518 retirees since the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in 2004.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, represented by Mrs Folashade Jaji, Secretary to the State’s Government (SSG), said this while delivering a keynote address at the 98th Batch Retirement Bond Certificate Presentation to the state’s retirees.
The event was organised by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the state government had also paid over N47 billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of its retirees since the advent of his administration in 2019.
He noted that 12,642 retirees from the state’s Mainstream, Local Government, State Universal Basic Board (SUBEB), Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and other parastatals were enjoying their retirement benefits under CPS in the state.
“The Lagos State government has paid 125,996,687,159.13 to 29,518 retirees since the advent of CPS and N47,050,805,734.16 to its retirees since inception of my administration,” he said.
According to him, the state had paid not less than N2,522 billion into the RSA’s of another set of 755 retirees for the month of December.
Sanwo-Olu said: “This is alongside their monthly contributions which has already been remitted into their respective RSAs with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
“Today’s event is a continued affirmation of the commitment of the state government to the welfare of its workforce, both active and post-service.
“This event is a landmark occasion as the number of retirees and the amount to be paid is the single largest we have paid since the inception of the CPS in Lagos State.
“We are not unaware of the backlog in the payment of accrued rights but we are focused on the intentional and strategic eradication of this backlog.”
He said despite the challenges faced, Lagos State had continued to be the leading light, not only in the administration of pension benefits but generally in good credible governance.
“Lagos State emerged as the top performer in pension payments among other quality indices of the CPS this year,” he added.
According to him, the state through LASPEC is assiduously working on its administration’s goal to ‘pay as you go. ‘
The governor said the state would continue to ensure that public service retirees would not only get what was due to them statutorily, but also receive support and assistance that would add value to their lives in retirement through other agencies and programmes.
Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration would continue to run an open government that promoted diversity and inclusion.
“I want to reaffirm that no matter your gender, sex, tribe or special needs, as long as you are a retiree of the Lagos State public service, your welfare and wellbeing is top priority.
“My prayer at this particular time is that God in His infinite mercy will see us through the year as it winds up and make us witness many more prosperous years ahead,” he said.
In her address, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, Commissioner for Establishments,Training And Pensions, said the accrued pension right paid by the state government between 2019 till date was the highest paid by any state government.
Ponnle, represented by Dr Abiodun Onayele, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Establishment training And Pensions, lauded Sanwo-Olu for fulfilling his promise to the public service workforce despite the huge liabilities incurred in running a megacity like Lagos.
She said: “Lagos State has been consistent in her leadership role in the implementation of the CPS and have won numerous awards such as the best compliant state in the federation consecutively and consistently.
“We are committed to maintaining this rating by improving on timely payment of retirees’ pensions and other applicable benefits upon disengagement from service.
“As you receive your retirement bond certificates, I wish to advise you to embrace the joy and challenges of this new phase of life and take advice from competent and reliable sources.
“In this regard, 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 benefit matters.
In his welcome address, Director-General, LASPEC, Mr Babalola Obilana said since the inception CPS in Nigeria, Lagos State has remained focused and resolute to the ideals of the scheme.
Obilana stated that the state government had consistently prioritised pension contributions in the annual state budget and did not owe monthly pension contributions.
“LASPEC in line with its role as the regulatory body for pension matters in the state is constantly reviewing its business processes to ensure the financial wellbeing of public service retirees.
“This year, the commission inspected all PFAs and Annuity Service Providers (ASPs) registered by the state government to ensure their compliance with the CPS.
“We also concluded the review of the Lagos State Pension Law to ensure your retirement obligations are adequately protected.
“From January 2022 till date, the state government has paid a total sum of N11,397,120,522.69 into the RSA of 3,481 retirees,” he said.
COP28: Sanwo-Olu seeks partners on implementation of Lagos climate adaptation plan
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Sunday called for global partnership in implementing the state climate adaptation and resilience plan.
Sanwo-Olu made the appeal while speaking in Dubai at the side event organised by the Lagos Government at the ongoing climate conference known as COP28.
The Lagos governor said the state had a huge potential in three critical areas, which the prospective partners could help to harness for global development.
The areas, the governor said, include waste management and recycling, public transportation and renewable energy.
These sectors, he noted, offer “huge opportunities” for reducing emissions and promoting sustainable practices.
The governor called on climate financiers to move from talk to action, saying it requires concerted efforts to achieve the net-zero emission target.
“We are here as a government to have commitments, there are so many talks and now is the time for action, through partnership and investment,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He, however, expressed the support of the state to the national net zero emission target.
This support, he said, was part of the state’s broader commitment to combating climate change and improving environmental sustainability.
He said Lagos was not just passively supporting the target but is actively working towards it.
According to him, the state is ahead to achieve zero net carbon emissions both in terms of preparedness and strategic actions.
MI-35P crash: CAS visits crew, tasks personnel on resilience
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has visited crew members of the Nigerian Air Force MI-35P attack helicopter that crashed on Friday in Port Harcourt.
Abubakar commended the five crew members receiving treatment at the NAF medical centre in Port Harcourt, for the professional manner in which they handled the emergency.
He said that their action was commendable and a decisive factor in mitigating the extent of damage to public property and loss of lives.
The CAS, who visited the injured crew members on Sunday, directed the medical director of the centre to render first class treatment to them.
According to a statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the CAS also addressed troops of 115 Special Operations Group (115 SOG) during the visit.
He encouraged them to see the setback as a step for a more resilient comeback, and channeling efforts towards thwarting the activities of economic saboteurs and oil thieves in their area of operation.
He urged them not to be discouraged, saying that the hope of millions of Nigerians rest on their shoulders.
According to him, the realisation of these aspirations is hinged on their ability to combat all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of the nation.
Abubakar urged all NAF personnel to regard the incident as a challenge to improve safety measures, while remaining undeterred and focused in tackling the myriads of security threats facing the nation.
“Times like these are a sad reminder of the inherent risks in military aviation, especially when flying activities, occasioned by our current security challenges, have tremendously increased.
“As we continue to fly intensively, incidents are bound to occur.
“Nevertheless, we must continue to ensure we minimize the risk factors as reasonably practicable,” he said.
He said that that 115 SOG had been well known for its gallantry and fighting spirit and the presence of the MI-35P helicopters on the battlefield had been a game changer.
According to him, the helicopters have over the years, continued to strike fear deep into the hearts of terrorists and other criminals, and at the same time boosting the morale of surface forces.
The CAS extended President Bola Tinubu’s appreciation to the personnel for their sacrifices, assuring them of improved welfare and logistics to effectively carry out their assigned duties.
He said investigation had commenced to unravel the circumstances behind the crash with a view to prevent future occurrence.
Impactful development, solution to security challenges – Akume
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, says impactful development is a major solution to security challenges.
Akume said this while delivering a paper titled, “Leadership, Policy Implementation, and Development in Nigeria”.
The the paper was presented at the 12th Leadership Lecture Series organised by the Centre for Leadership and Complex Military Operations, Nigerian Defence Academy, on Saturday in Abuja.
The SGF was represented by a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr Olusegun Adekunle.
He said that Nigeria, like most other nations, had grappled with security challenges for over a decade, adding that there was a nexus between leadership, policy implementation, development and security.
According to him, when a country experiences significant development in various sectors, such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic opportunities, it can lead to improved security conditions.
The SGF said that development initiatives, such as job creation, entrepreneurship programmes, and investments in industries, could help alleviate poverty and reduce inequality.
This, according to him, would minimise social unrest, crime, and extremist ideologies driven by economic desperation.
He added that development projects enhance social cohesion and inclusion, promote dialogue, and address grievances by fostering inclusive societies where citizens have equal access to opportunities and feel represented.
“Development can help build trust, strengthen community bonds, and reduce intergroup tensions that may lead to conflicts.
“Investing in quality education equips individuals with skills, knowledge, and critical thinking abilities because education can promote tolerance, respect for diversity, and awareness of human rights, which are essential for building peaceful societies.
“It can also contribute to countering radicalisation and extremism by providing alternative paths for vulnerable individuals.
“Development initiatives that improve infrastructure, including roads, hospitals, schools, and access to clean water and sanitation, benefit communities in multiple ways.
“Adequate infrastructure enhances citizens’ quality of life, boosts economic activities, and provides essential services that contribute to stability and security.”
Akume added that strengthening governance systems can help prevent corruption, promote the rule of law, ensure equal access to justice, and build strong institutions capable of maintaining security and stability.
“By investing in impactful development strategies, our country Nigeria can address root causes of insecurity and mitigate the risks of conflicts and security challenges thereby create environments conducive to peace and stability,” he said.
Akume said it was important to recognise that development alone might not be sufficient and should be complemented by other measures, such as conflict resolution efforts, peacebuilding initiatives, and effective security institutions.
He said the administration of President Bola Tinubu had brought into governance, experience, energy, capacity and commitment that fits into leadership, policy and development.
According to him, six months on the saddle, the government has taken strategic steps on its eight priority areas around which policies and legislations are being developed for implementation, development and growth.
“As a way of reminder, the priority areas are food security, ending poverty, economic growth and job creation, access to capital and inclusivity,” he added.
The Director, Centre for Leadership and Complex Military Operations, NDA, Dr. Bem Audu., said the lecture series was designed to match the concept in the practice of leadership.
Audu said the series would also give the participants the opportunity to interact and understand government policies and their implemention and how they contribute to national development.
According to him, most times we make criticisms of government without actually understanding the issues involved.
“So this is a platform that we have deliberately designed to ensure that practice meet theory so that people can understand the policies of government and how they are implemented and be better aware and also contribute to development of Nigeria.
“So what we’re doing basically is to see to the extent to which we can generate this knowledge and transfer it to as many as possible, and security is the core of what we do,” he said.
Hajiya Mariam Hamza, Deputy Head of the center, said the lecture series was a platform where theory meet with practice, where ideas of shared issues were being clarified and questions been answered.
Hamza said that identifying solutions to national challenges require all hands to be on deck.
A participant, retired Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, former Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), said that right leadership, and policy implementation were key to achieving development by any nation, adding that there was no one-fit solution to challenges.
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