The Lagos State Government has earmarked a sum of N2.698 billion for the construction of five care centres for pensioners and senior citizens in the state.
The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, disclosed this at the 2016 senior citizens day in Ikeja, noting that the centres would be built in Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Alimosho and Lagos Island.
At the celebration, the governor described pensioners and senior citizens as strategic class of people who deserve to be remembered, appreciated and celebrated at all times.
Ambode, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said his administration would remain committed to the welfare of the people and the principle of inclusive governance.
He noted that his administration “has more than passing interest in the lives of senior citizens and pensioners who have spent their youthful period in serving their fatherland.
“Since the inception of this administration, we have remained committed to our workers welfare including retirees. In addition to regular payment of salaries for those in active service, we have also prioritised the payment of retirees’ benefits, especially those that have accrued over the years,” he explained.
According to him, apart from the payment of entitlement to all senior citizens in Lagos State, they also enjoy welfare incentives including free medical services for those above 60 years in government hospitals.
He, thus, revealed that a total of N21.929 billion accrued pension rights “has been paid to 5,027 retirees. Also, N1.5 billion Intervention Fund has been approved for the payment of outstanding gratuities and accrued pensions to local government retirees including the balance of 142 per cent pension arrears.”
Ambode said the theme of the celebration: ‘Take a Stand against Ageism,’ was apt considering the discrimination and prejudicial attitudes towards older people, old age and aging process are evident in the society.
Also at the celebration, the Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke said the state government through the Civil Service Pensions Office and other pension offices would continue “to ensure that not only do retirees get what is due to them statutorily, but also continue to empower them with socio-economic activities to make life worth living for them.
“To our aged citizens, this government is reassuring that your wellbeing will continue to enjoy a prominent place in the policies and programmes of the state government,” Oke said.