Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
The Edo State Government has said arrangements have been concluded for the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme for local council workers and primary school teachers who are paid from the Joint Local Government Account.
Speaking with journalists at the end of a three-day sensitisation workshop on Contributory Pension Scheme for local government workers, the Edo State Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Isaac Ehiozuwa, said the workshop was organised to intimate workers under the Unified Local Government Service and Local Government Education Authorities (Teaching and Non-Teaching) on the benefits of the scheme.
He noted that the state government adopted the Contributory Pension Scheme at the state level on January 1, 2017, which has been running smoothly with both the state government and workers contributing their share to the scheme.
The HoS added that there are other aspects of the scheme such as Group Insurance, which ensures that the next of kin of contributors, who die while in active service, are taken care of.
Ehiozuwa said the scheme is more comprehensive when compared to the old scheme which was characterised with accumulated pension and gratuity that could not be paid because of the huge amount involved.
He added that the scheme would ensure that at retirement, the contributor would get their benefit seamlessly, noting: “Having tested the programme at the state level, we are now moving to the local government level, which is expected to commence by January 1, 2020.
“The essence is to sensitised workers at the local government level, especially the council workers and the primary school teachers that are paid from the Joint Local Government Account, on the need for everyone to key in.”
The head of service explained that apart from the terminal benefits of the scheme, there are other aspects of it that are impressive, noting that Edo is one of the foremost states in Nigeria that is up to date both in accountability and the contribution of its share to the scheme.
A representative of the Pension Managers, Toju Aibangbee, said with the new pension scheme, the workers stand to get their benefits as and when due at retirement.
She said the new scheme had eliminated delay in processing payouts, adding that pensions are guaranteed in the sense that all the pension companies involved have been licenced to ensure that the fund is safe.