The Lagos State Government has released the sum of N1.9 billion to be paid to another set of 493 retirees from the Mainstream Civil Service, Local Governments, and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Teachers Establishments and Pensions Office (TEPO) and other Parastatals of Government for the month of December.
The Honourable Commissioner, Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke Akintola, said that, the retirees comfort at old age was what led to the State’s monthly contribution into the Retirement Savings Account of Public servants. He also said that, this is given the same priority as that of payment of salaries. According to Dr. Akintola “We are all aware of the fact that there have been various challenges relating to the provision of Pension entitlements in many other States, Lagos State has tried her best to make sure that Pension is given priority”
He said this while speaking at the 34th Retirement Benefit Bond Presentation Ceremony on Friday, 23rd December, 2016 at NECA House Auditorium, Ikeja, Lagos. He said that this administration has from August, 2015 to date paid the total sum of N23, 829 billion as accrued pension rights to 5,520 retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme. As at this moment, December 2016, accrued pension rights of N57, 841 billion had been paid to 12,919 retirees by the State Government, since the commencement of payment of entitlements in the Contributory Pension Scheme dispensation in 2010. He also said that, as at November, 2016 the total contributions remitted to the PFAs from April, 2007 to date is approximately N75 billion.
He said that the State’s Government funding of employees’ pension rights under the Contributory Pension Scheme in a period of 9 years is approximately N132, 841 billion.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General – LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga reiterated the fact, that the State Government has continued to play leadership role in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria, and the reason why it has recorded huge success.
According to her: “A lot of investments have been made in terms of ICT infrastructure to create an e-environment to ease Pension Scheme administration. We have in place, a highly automated pension administration system, a crop of efficient, professionally qualified and well trained staff to attend to the needs of contributors and retirees”.
Onanuga said that the State Government through the Commission has paid to named beneficiaries of deceased employees, Insurance benefit worth the sum of over N114, 000000.00, and she is set to pay another N56.1m death benefit today, bringing the total to approximately N170, 000000.00. She said: “the insured death of 320% of the terminal salary of a deceased staff is designed by Law to be paid to alleviate the immediate needs of the family members left behind. The Estate of a deceased staff is also entitled to receive the balance in the retirement account and accrued rights due, if the employee had joined service before the commencement of the CPS”
She was quick to make the beneficiaries understand that, only Programmed Withdrawal benefit option is tenable pending the time, that Life Insurance Companies would open Operational Account jointly with a Pension Fund Custodian (PFC) so as to secure the pension funds for the payment of Annuity entitlements.
“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 concluded.
In appreciation, the retirees, who were all enthusiastic about the presentation/celebration, which also served as the end of the year get-together prayed for the Government of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State, they wished him the best as he continues to take Lagos State to a higher level.
Lawal, B. A. (Mrs.)
Public Affairs Officer