…to pay N32bn as outstanding gratuities, death benefits
By; Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Government pays an average of N791million pensions to retired Local Government Council workers and the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, retirees monthly.
The State also has an outstanding of N32.8 billion gratuities and death benefits incurred between August 2011 and June, 2019 under its Transition Pension Scheme.
Although, the debt piled up under the previous administration in the state, the present government has vowed to offset the indebtedness.
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Local Government Pensions, Mrs. Irene Kokumo, while hosting members of the state House of Assembly’s Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Mrs. Kokumo, who also spoke later at the budget assessment of the bureau, said that the scheme currently caters for 11,616 retirees in the pre-1991 category
According to her, records from the Bureau of Local Government Pensions showed that the present administration has been facilitating prompt release of retirement savings account balance to retirees who had disengaged from the Contributory Pension Scheme with a view to ensuring that senior citizens enjoy better life after meritorious years of service to the councils.
Apart from the N791 million being paid monthly as pensions, the Bureau has also paid N4,6 billion as monthly pensions between January and June, 2019.
Mrs. Kokumo stated that the Bureau has been effectively managing the benefits of Pay as you Go scheme and the Contributory Pension Scheme.
She added that primary responsibility of the Bureau was that of the pre-1991 retirees, consisting of local government and SUBEB personnel, as well as officials still in active service.
The permanent secretary listed other achievements of her Bureau to include computation and compilation of outstanding gratuities and death pensions till date, maintenance of records of existing pensioners for easy access to retrieve information from computerised filing system, facilitation of remittances of contributory pension deductions as and when released, among others.
She added that the state government is working on the Bureau’s challenges of office renovation and provision of befitting infrastructures, full digitization and computerisation of its activities, among others.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Akeem Balogun, while applauding the management team for maintaining standard in the discharge of its duties, tasked the Bureau to come up with strategies that could assist in offsetting the outstanding gratuities of local government councils and SUBEB.