Gov. Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos State on Thursday said that his administration had paid over N25 billion into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of retirees of the state since he came on board 18 months ago.
Sanwo-olu, represented by Mrs. Olubunmi Fabanwo, Chairman, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, said this at the 81st Retirement Bond certificate presentation to retirees of the state Public Service in Lagos.
He said that retirees were workers in the mainstream, local government, State Universal Basic Board (SUBEB), Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and other parastatal agencies of the state government.
“I am happy to report that 5,819 retirees are enjoying their retirement benefits under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in the past 18 months of my administration.
“It is gratifying to note that since the advent of this administration, the state government has paid twenty-five billion, sixty-three million, twenty-seven thousand, nine hundred and twenty-four Naira, eighty-six kobo into the RSA of the state’s retirees,” he said.
According to him, the state government has also remitted over N2 billion into the respective RSAs of 471 retirees through the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) for the month of December.
Sanwo-olu said that with such commitment and performance, it was not surprising that retiring officers in the state looked forward to retirement with more confidence and joy.
The governor said that Lagos State had continued to be the leading light, not only in the administration of pension benefits, but generally in good credible governance.
“Let me assure you that the state government through the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) will continue to ensure that public service retirees not only get what is due to them statutorily, but also receive, through other agencies and programmes, additional support and assistance that will add value to their lives in retirement.
“I will continue to run an open government of inclusion that will ensure no one is left behind.
“We must therefore be determined to contribute to the change that is much expected to bail our country out of her present situation and make life worth living for everyone,” he said.
In her address, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, lauded Gov. Sanwo-olu for ensuring the availability of funds to the commission for the payment of retirement benefits as and when due.
“Despite the global pandemic and its impact on the Nigerian economy, the state government has made continuous monthly payments of accrued pension rights into the RSA of retirees a priority to enable them have access to their retirement bond benefits,” she said.
Ponnle said following the emergence of Lagos State as the winner of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) award for the best compliant state in the Federation consecutively and consistently, the ministry and LASPEC were committed to maintaining the rating.
She said this would be done by improving on timely payment of retirees’ pensions and other applicable benefits upon disengagement from service.
The commissioner congratulated the retirees and advised them to embrace the joy and challenges of their new phase of life .
“Do not hesitate to contact LASPEC or even the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions, should you require clarification or advise regarding the modalities surrounding your retirement benefit matters,” she said.
Mr Babalola Obilana, Director-General, LASPEC, said the event was designed as the state government’s special gift for the retirees for the festive season.
Obilana informed the retirees about the official launch of the RSA transfer window system by PenCom on Nov. 16, which permits RSA holders to transfer their accounts from one PFA to another once a year.
“The activation of the RSA transfer process will engender competition and improve service delivery in the pension industry while asserting the rights of RSA holders to determine which PFA manages their pension contribution and retirement benefits,” he said.
The director general enjoined the pensioners to take very good care of themselves, as health is wealth.
He appreciated stakeholders, PFAs and Insurance companies for their relentless efforts toward the success of the CPS. (NAN)