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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Lagos State Government has released over one billion & twenty Four million naira for the payment of Pension entitlements of 183 Public Service retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) Dispensation for the month of March, 2018.
Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, at the 49th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation ceremony held on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 in Ikeja reiterated his commitment to ensuring the payment of terminal benefits of retired staff.
The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke said that 8,731 retirees had accrued pension rights of over N35 billion paid into their Retirement Savings Accounts from inception of this administration to date.
He said, “Despite the fact that funding obligations are huge, Lagos State is very consistent in payment of pension entitlements due to Governor Ambode’s commitment and diligence.
The Director General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, in her welcome address stated that His Excellency’s commitment to retirees’ welfare stems from the understanding that the State Government’s greatest assets are the employees. In essence, their well being, in and out of office is priority.
She also assured the retirees that that the government will still keep in touch with them after they have collected their Bond Certificates to know how they are fairing in retirement. She informed the retirees that even on their birthdays, they will get gifts from the State through the Post Service Department, in the Office of the Head of Service.
“I prayed that your labour in service will not be in vain”, she concluded.
Mrs. Onanuga also advised the retirees to take informed decision about the choice of either Programmed Withdrawal or Life annuity option for receipt of terminal entitlement.
To corroborate Mrs. Onanuga’s point, not allowing anyone force them in choosing a benefit option, one of the retirees, Mrs. Ego Onwuzubike appealed to her colleagues to “shine their eyes” when filling forms with their PFAs and always ask questions whenever they don’t understand some things. She said, “The two exit options are good, depending on what you want,and no particular one should be forced on any retiree. Read the instruction very well before you fill your forms”, she said.
One of the retirees, John Oladipupo gave a vote of thanks on behalf of other retirees. He was particularly grateful to His Excellency for his concern and consistency in payment of terminal dues and prayed that God will give himwhere-withal to achieve the dream of Lagos being a smart city.