Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the release of N1.5billion intervention fund for the payment of outstanding gratuities and pension arrears of local government retirees in the state.
Mr. Akintola Benson Oke, the State Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, who disclosed this on Thursday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa Ikeja during the 2016 Ministerial Press Briefing of the Lagos State Government to commemorate the first year anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration in Lagos State, added that the government has also approved the sum of N1.7billion being the balance of 142% pension arrears to the same categories of retirees.
According to him, “The payment of backlog of outstanding entitlement of retirees has been a major challenge of the Local Government Commission and the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) due to the fact that the 5% statutory funding provision was a far cry from the liabilities that has accumulated. Therefore, the order from the Governor that the state fund be utilize to offset this backlog, is a welcome development.”
He listed parastatals that would benefit from the payment to include: Lagos Water Corporation, Radio Lagos/Eko F.M, Lagos Television, Lagos State Printing Corporation, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education AOCOED as well as the Centre for Rural Development ,CERUD.
Others are: Lagos State Sports Commission, Lagos State Agricultural Input and Supply Agency, Lagos State Council for Arts & Culture and Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority.
The Commissioner however noted that the payment to the affected pensioners would be effected as soon as the verification exercise is concluded.
Similarly, Mr. Oke disclosed that since the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation in 2010, the State Government has paid accrued pension rights of about N48.08billion to more than 10,000 retirees/ deceased/withdrawn staff, stressing that the Ministry has also been able to maintain the trend of paying terminal entitlement of retired employees monthly since it started in August, 2015.
He also hinted that the regular deduction of 7.5% from staff’s salaries and the corresponding 7.5% by the State Government into the Retirement Savings Accounts RSA of Staff have cumulatively risen to N64billion approximately since inception of the scheme in 2007.