Lagos pays N1.5bn restates commitments to pensioners welfare

From left: Olumuyiwa Oshin Executive Director Finance and investment Lagos state Pension Commission, Mrs Christiana Alakija a Retiree receiving her Bond Certificate from the Director-General Lagos state Pension Commission, Babalola Obilana during the 82nd Bond Certificate presentation in Alausa Ikeja

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The Lagos State Government has paid N1.51 billion to 292 pensioners even as it restated its commitments to the welfare of pensioners, pledging to pay all pension entitlements as at when due.

A statement by the Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) Mrs. Mariam, Adetokunbo Eko, noted that disclosing
this on Tuesday, 16th February, 2021 during the 82nd Bond Presentation Ceremony to 292 pensioners whose Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) were credited with a total sum of 1,510,525,465,85 (One Billion, Five Hundred and Ten Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty-Five Naira, Eighty-Five Kobo. The Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Babalola Obilana assured retirees of the State Government’s dedication to the well-being of its workforce even in retirement.

Speaking during a brief event held at the LASPEC Hall, NECA House, Alausa, in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols, Obilana disclosed that previously Bond Certificates were released to Pension Fund Administrators however, in order to ensure excellent and efficient service to retirees, the Agency embarked on and satisfactorily issued certificates to pensioners personally.
In his words, “LASPEC has gone beyond the excuses of retirees waiting endlessly before they can gain access to their funds, the world is moving forward and so are we. We are dedicated to our retirees because they have painstakingly contributed their quota towards making a Greater Lagos.”

Obilana further charged the retirees to ensure that they have proper documentation to avoid delay in payment due to wrong or missing documents. The retirees were also admonished to be wary not to become victims of fraudsters. ‘LASPEC is devoted to ensuring that all entitlements are paid into the right sources after departure from the Civil Service. There are many people devising means of defrauding retirees of their dividends from long service. That is why we operate an open-door policy to all on pension matters. LASPEC will not call or send you messages to charge you to get your entitlements’, he noted.

Obilana thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for making the welfare of the employees a priority and for not withholding funds for retired staff amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the EndSARS protest. He assured retirees that Governor is working assiduously to ensure that they do not have to wait for years before they receive their pensions from the State.

He urged the staff to uphold a good service relationship with retirees mainly because it is the core culture, norm and belief of LASPEC, stressing that the Agency’s goal for 2021 is to take an instant stand on openness and accountability.

Earlier, the Principal Legal Officer, LASPEC, Ms. Abimbola Akintayo gave an overview of options available to retirees, stating that the two options available are Programmed Withdrawal and Annuity. She urged the retirees to choose an option based on personal circumstances and not follow the crowd.

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