By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Government said it has paid a total of N5.017billion to about 12,191 pensioners captured in its database, under the non-contributory pension scheme between January and June this year.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Local Government Pensions, Mrs. Afolasade Kokumo said this before members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, led by Hon. Akeem Balogun at the ongoing 2020 budget appraisal, held at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Kokumo noted that the Bureau was poised to making life more abundant for retirees through effective coordination and prompt payment of monthly pensions, saying all outstanding gratuities and death pensions till date had been compiled for clearance.
Explaining that the contributory pension scheme which commenced in 2008 in line with the State Pension Reform Law, 2006, was amended in 2013, the Permanent Secretary noted that a total number of 6,872 workers were projected to retire on Transition Pensions Scheme, while 16,527 were scheduled to retire on contributory pension scheme which would be fully operational in the State by July, 2025.
On the 2020 budget of the Bureau, Kokumo said N4.9m was expended on capital projects which included the launching of a portal for pensioners, especially those abroad to upload their documents for assessment amongst other infrastructural projects.
She explained further that the Bureau has been facilitating prompt release of retirement savings account balances to the retirees who were hitherto disengaged from the contributory pension scheme and has also maintained records of existing pensioners, with a view to making retrieval of information easier for the bureau.
Similarly, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape equally defended the 2020 budget performance of the Ministry with an assurance that the Ministry would continue to elicit effective management of the chieftaincy institution, hence the need to strategise towards establishing Chieftaincy Tribunal to address litigations on Chieftaincy matters in the State.
Afuape explained that the proposed quasi-judicial body was aimed at mediating in chieftaincy disputes, towards resolving all pending litigations on chieftaincy matters to further uphold the revered status of the traditional institution in the State.
He assured that the ministry would continue to provide effective monitoring of the 20 Local Government Councils for the promotion of transparency and accountability, ensure wealth creation, employment creation, poverty reduction and value orientation programmes in all the Local Government Areas.
The lawmakers also appraised the 2020 budget performance of the Local Government Service Commission as presented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kasali Olabimtan.