The Lagos State Government on Thursday disclosed that it had remitted a sum of N64 billion into the retirement saving accounts (RSAs) of civil servants as contributory pension scheme since the inception of the scheme.
The Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Oke disclosed this at a news conference he addressed at Alausa, Lagos.
At the conference, the commissioner said there had been regular deductions of 7.5 per cent from the salaries of staff and corresponding 7.5 per cent by the state government into the retirement savings accounts maintained by them with their appointed Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
According to him, as at March, 2016, the deduction has cumulatively risen to N64 billion approximately since the inception of the scheme in 2007. Also, since the commencement of the retirement benefit bond certificate presentation in 2010 to over 10,000 retirees/deceased/ withdrawn staff, the state Government has paid accrued pension rights of about N48.08 billion.
He said the state government had reduced drastically the backlog of terminal entitlements of retirees, noting that between August 2015 and April 2016, the government had, through the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) paid the sum of N13.701 billion into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of 3,069 retirees.
He said 1,294 retired from the Local Government, 745 from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), 731 Teachers Establishment Pension Office (TEPO) and 299 from the mainstream service.
Oke disclosed that the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had directed that outstanding pension payment of three years arrears on the 142 per cent pension increase as approved by the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu be paid with immediate effect.
He said the sum of N2.03 billion was paid as pensions between May 2015 and April 2016, adding that in November 2015, Civil Service Pensions Office facilitated and completed the payment of severance, pensions and gratuity to 73 disengaged staff of the defunct Eko Today which amounted to N37.17 billion.
Oke further revealed that Ambode had approved the release of the sum of N1.5 billion intervention fund for the payment of outstanding gratuities and pension arrears to Local Government retirees, including the balance of 142 per cent pension arrears amounting to N1.77 billion, saying that the payments would be effected as soon as the verification exercise was conducted.
On the issue of pension fraudsters, the commissioner said the government had begun sensitization programmes in all ramifications on the activities of these fraudsters, stressing that apart from drawing the attention of the state government to this unsavoury report, LASPEC had gone further to sensitize the public with the printing of posters and handbills.