The Lagos State Government on Thursday promised to clear arrears of all pension payments by the end of the year 2022.
Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, Lagos State Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, made the pledge while delivering a keynote address at the virtual Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) pre-retirement seminar, in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the seminar was organised for civil servants retiring between January and June 2021 in the state.
She said “Unfortunately we have a backlog of accrued pension rights and we acknowledge that.
“But by the end of 2022 which is about two years from now, we are hoping that the backlog would be cleared.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure that we fund all the accounts that need to be funded so that as soon as retirees reach the retirement age and retire, they get their pension.”
According to her, the Lagos State Government is working assiduously to ensure that retirees can enjoy additional welfare benefits.
She said these would include free transportation for pensioners on the state transportation network, implementation of which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioner noted that the Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu-led administration appreciated the role that public servants play in governance.
“The governor has demonstrated this by the various initiatives and policies approved in the last one year towards enhancing the welfare of pensioners.
“Even though the present economic condition is not friendly, the governor ensures payment and even increment of pension.
“We appreciate the valuable experience and insights of our retirees and pray that they retire healthy and happily,” she said.
She, however, advised the prospective retirees to be wary of joining side associations who are deceiving pensioners of assisting them to collect their pension.
Ajibola admonished members of the society to always show compassion to retirees, saying they are the older citizens and have a lot more to offer.
She, however, congratulated the prospective retirees and acknowledged the effort of the management and staff of LASPEC for putting up the webinar.
Mr Babalola Obilana, Director-General, LASPEC, said the essence of the programme was to educate the prospective retirees on the necessary documentation required to access their accrued rights and pension.
Obilana noted that having worked in active service for the state government, it was imperative that transmission into retirement should be without stress
According to him, the seminar also provides valuable information on how retirees should plan their finances and lives after retirement.
“It will also provide you health tips on how to enjoy your future after retirement,” Obilana said.
Mr Afees Oyebo, Assistant Chief Administration officer, LASPEC, in his lecture titled: “Retirement Benefit Documentation under the Contributory Pension Scheme” charged the retirees to update their documents.
Oyebo said this would ensure that the benefits and accrued rights due to the retirees during their service years were accurately computed and credited into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
NAN reports that several resource persons including representatives from Crusader Sterling Pensions and FbNInsurance also spoke at the webinar.