…to pay N1.1bn to 260 pensioners this month
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has paid N8.77 billion to 2,309 retirees in the state public service from January to June 2020, the state Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Jibola Ponnle, has said.
The commissioner described as baseless allegations by the South- West chapter of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) that Lagos State Government was yet to settle all its outstanding entitlements of pensioners in the state, saying retirees in the state were well pleased with the governor for being passionate about their welfare.
According to her, since the inauguration of this present administration, the government, through the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), paid accrued pension rights of 3,211 retirees the sum of N13.51 billion between May to December 2019. She put the total payment made so far by the Sanwo-Olu administration to 4,877 retirees at N18.89 billion.
The commissioner, who also hinted that Sanwo- Olu would pay accrued pension rights of N1.1 billion to 260 retirees’ RSAs through their respective Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), added that the payment of pension obligations of self-funding agencies in the state was underway to ensure retirees are duly compensated for their services to the government.
She said: “To set the record straight, these allegations are false, defamatory, unfounded and malicious against the most gracious and generous governor in the whole of the South- West.
His passion for retirees and pensioners is unprecedented since his assumption in office. “For the records, the truth is as follows, from May 2019 to April 2019, the sum of N1.88 billion was paid to pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme, otherwise known as the Pay As You Go.
“One per cent of all pensioners’ benefits are deducted monthly by the NUP. All pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme have been paid their monthly pensions till June 2020.
“Under the Contributory Pension Scheme, the Lagos State Government till date has paid over N8.7 billion accrued pension rights to 2,309 retirees between January 2020 and today.” Ponnle added that for clarity sake, over N978 million was recently credited into the Retirement Savings Account of 405 retirees in June 2020 by the state government.
“In addition, all retirement bond certificates for June 2020 have been released to PFAs for onward transmission to beneficiaries. “Also, the governor, in his humane and selfless service, approved last year’s Annual Pensioners’ Day Celebration. This is an annual event to celebrate all pensioners in the state.
It was also a loaded innovation as the pensioners were engaged in various games for male and female,” she said. To further demonstrate his generosity, Ponnle added that Governor Sanwo- Olu also distributed stimulus packages to retirees to cushion hardship occasioned by the COVID-19.
The distribution, she said, was done in an effective and efficient manner throughout the five divisions of the state. “The governor, in his wisdom, recently launched the Y2020 online biometric verification exercise for pensioners.
The modalities for the online verification involves the use of Zoom app, Skype & WhatsApp video by pensioners to have access to officials of Civil Service Pensions Office in a bid to have their documents verified and to show that they are alive.
“This initiative is a departure from the usual verification exercise, whereby pensioners are expected to be physically present.”