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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Lagos State Government at the 47th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate (RBBC) presentation ceremony yesterday, Tuesday, in Ikeja, paid accrued pension rights of N723 million into the Retirement savings Accounts of 149 retirees of the Public Service.
A statement by Mrs Ajoke Lawal of Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) said the Governor, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training & Pensions, Dr. Benson Akintola Oke, noted that his interest in the well being of the retirees has been the driving force of the State Government’s commitment to regular funding of pension obligations.
Dr. Akintola said, Ambode has expended N33, 943 billion in form of accrued pension rights to 8,409 retirees in the last 30 months. This is aside from the regular monthly contributions into the Retirement Savings Account of active workers.
“We have been able to clear the backlog of outstanding pension obligations we met at the inception of this administration and we are forging ahead to ensure that fresh liabilities arising from recent retirements are systematically cleared. We assure all retirees that your labour in Lagos shall not go unrewarded and you will not retire into penury.”
The Director-General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga said that the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) is the best thing democracy has bequeathed to Nigerian Workers because it makes employers fulfil their obligations to workers, ensures commitment on the part of the different tiers of Government and does not give room for stressful verification exercise as is experienced with the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).
She advised the retirees not to succumb to any pressure in the choice of annuity or programmed withdrawal benefit options for receipt of monthly pension. She urged the retirees to carefully go through the document the Lagos State Government through the Pension Commission had provided on the features of the two benefit options and on their own make an informed decision. She also hinted that the Government was looking at some welfare programmes to give them comfort in retirement. She also advised them to be wary of scammers who are out there and may want to sell ‘make quick’ money advice to them.
The retirees with smiles on their faces thanked His Excellency for his efforts in ensuring that retirees in Lagos State receive their entitlements. The retirees unanimously rose to offer prayers specifically for the governor and Lagos State in general.
Mrs. Mary Obisanya, a retiree spoke about the courteous manner in which the Agency’s staff attended to the retirees and wished that other Parastatals could emulate and imbibe the culture of qualitative service delivery. Her views were corroborated by other retirees.