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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Lagos State Government has paid another batch of retirees numbering 298 from the State Public Service for the month of December.This, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions says demonstrates government’s commitment to the welfare of its workers that were out of Service.
This brings the number of retirees paid so far, between August and December, this Year to 2,290.
Total accrued rights for years, spent under the Pay As You Go Pension Scheme paid on behalf of the retirees stood at N10.3 billion.
He disclosed this while speaking at the 22nd batch Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Public Servants in Lagos State on Friday, at NECA Auditorium, NECA House, Alausa, Ikeja. Akintola said this Administration has given priority to the welfare of the workers both in and out of Office, hence it gives priority to ensuring that retirees have quick access to their terminal entitlements.
Akintola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Pension Office, Mrs. BolanleOgunmola, said that the retirees service to the State will be rewarded with prompt payment of terminal entitlements.
Speaking earlier, in her Welcome Address, the Director –General, Lagos State Pension Board, Mrs. FolashadeOnanuga disclosed that the dynamism of the State has made Contributory Pension Scheme to be a success compared to other States.
“We remain the only State Government in the country who is not owing contributors to be paid into the Retirement Savings Account of her workers; the only State Government to issue Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates; the only State Government that is paying accrued Pension rights into the Retirement Savings Accounts of her retirees regularly; the only State Government, whose contributions on Pension Scheme administration in Nigeria has been saluted as hinged on professionalism; the only State Government with a dynamic pension structure and the State Government with an all embracing structure for Pension operations.”
She urged all the beneficiaries to be extremely cautious and careful when deciding what to do after retirement. She added that individual circumstance should be considered before choosing any of the two exit options of the Programmed Withdrawal and the Annuity.
She said the retirees would soon be issued identification cards to enable them access healthcare facilities.
In appreciation, the retirees, who were all enthusiastic about the Presentation/Celebration, which also served as the end of the year get-togetherfor them prayed for the Government of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who they described as their “saving grace”. They wished him the best as he continues to take Lagos State to a higher level.