The Lagos State government, through the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) has paid N11.44 billion pension accrued rights to 2,654 in eight months, Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke has said.
He said out of this, 165 retirees received Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates for accrued pension rights of N912 million over the weekend.
Oke spoke during the presentation of Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates to the 25th Batch of Retirees of the Lagos State Public Service in April, this year.
He stated that the payment has been made possible because of the premium Governor Akinwunmi Ambode places on pensioners’ comfort.
Director-General of LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, explained that Governor Ambode requested for a briefing on the challenges faced by the commission in ensuring prompt payment of terminal entitlements.
She stated that government had never reneged in meeting all the statutory pension obligations like monthly contributions into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of employees, funding of the Retirement Bond Redemption Fund & Sinking Fund Accounts and maintenance of the group life assurance scheme.
She said the LASPEC intimated him of the challenges faced as a result of the fact that the accrued pension right liabilities far exceeded the provisions made statutorily.
She noted that the major challenge was with the Local Government & State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) retirees whose five per cent statutory funding provision was a far cry from the liabilities that had crystallised.
She said: “This is why as at the beginning of the present administration, we had many retirees in the Local Government and SUBEB whose accrued pension rights were yet to be paid. The governor graciously decided and gave instructions for state government funds to be utilised to pay retirees from the local governments.
“He also instructed that those who had retired from parastatals of government up to December 31, 2014 should be paid. This is on the understanding that the parastatals would be going forward to meet up with their obligations. This is why today, we have some retirees from self-funding parastatals in this auditorium.
“To ensure that the backlog is cleared, we have since August, 2015, been crediting the RSA of retirees’ with their accrued pension rights on a monthly basis. From August 2015 to February, 2016, the state government through LASPEC had paid the sum of N11.44 billion into the RSA of 2,654 retirees. 1,108 of the retirees were from the Local Government and SUBEB, 669 from TEPO, 583 from the Mainstream Service and 294 from Parastatals.
“Today, a total number of 162 retirees also mainly from Local Government and SUBEB where we have the greatest backlog will have the sum of N924 million credited into their Retirement Savings Account. In essence, in a period of eight months, this administration has been able to put smiles on the faces of a total number of 2,815 retirees and amount expended as accrued pension rights is approximately N12.4billion