Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State today paid N3.58 billion to 604 retirees of the state civil service. The money was transferred into the retirement savings account of the retirees.
The retirees were presented their retirement bond certificates today at the NECA Building, Ikeja, in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. The retirees are the 7th in the series of such payment under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
“Today’s bond presentation has thus brought the total accrued pension rights already paid into the retirement savings account of 2,539 retirees in Lagos State to N13.9 billion. This is made up of gratuity and pension benefits for entitlements under the old scheme,” he said.
The governor reiterated his call for the contributory pension scheme to be one of the easier ‘quick wins’ for the states of the old Western region to achieve by collaborating with the pension administration regimes. He explained the call became imperative in the light of the recent disclosure that the country’s pension fund would increase from its present N2.9 trillion to N3 trillion by the end of 2012.
“These funds can be harnessed and applied towards developmental economic activities in the productive sector of the economy, as well as infrastructure, the latter having now been included in the list of acceptable investment asset classes in pension funds administration,” he stated.
Fashola, who was represented by the Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe said the state had never failed to remit monthly contributions into the retirement savings account of workers and that till date, over N33 billion had been paid to the six Pension Fund Administrations, PFAs by ways of contribution.
“Consequently, we have been able to meet our pre-contributory pension scheme obligations to our workers with relative ease and as at August 2012, the Lagos State Government had credited the retirement savings account of 1,935 retirees with the sum of N10.33 billion as accrued rights,” he disclosed.
The governor added that the retirees had enjoyed the cooperation of the PFAs that strove to ensure that retirement benefits were promptly disbursed on the due dates, saying that “thus far, we have not received any negative reports from retirees.”
Director General, DG, Lagos State Pension Commission, LASPEC, Mr. Rotimi Hussain said the Commission had put in place a highly automated pension administration mechanism and staff had been trained to attend to retirees diligently. With this, Hussain asserted, Lagos had set the example for others to follow. “We are, therefore, resolute at ensuring that we maintain the standard we have set for ourselves in the best interest of the workers in the state.
To date, we have organised two pre-retirement seminars in conjunction with our stakeholders for prospective retirees,” he stated.