Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, weekend approved a 33 per cent increase for all state pensioners under the State Pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (Pay As You Go) with effect from the 1st January, 2020.
The governor also approved the payment of a balance of 25% rent allowance for officers on GL 07 and above who had retired from May 2000 to August 2004.
Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, who disclosed this during a recent meeting with the members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, affirmed that both the increment and payment of the arrears will take effect from September, 2020, in a bid to meet up with the harmonisation exercise for the pensioners.
She said Sanwo-Olu, since his assumption of Office, has paid a total sum of N1.893Billion to Pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme, adding that all monthly pensions are paid as at when due without exception, despite the shortfall in revenue accruable to the State government occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, under the Contributory Pensions Scheme, the Lagos State Government paid over N21Billion as accrued pension rights to 5,354 retirees from May 2019 – August 2020, while over N978 Million was credited into the Retirement Savings Accounts of 405 Retirees in June 2020.
She also disclosed that all retirement bond certificates for June 2020 have been released to the Pension Fund Administrators for onward transmission to beneficiaries.
She reiterated that the government is determined to ensure that pensioners’ rights are paid promptly while beneficiaries will continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy in the State.
She assured that the present administration is passionate about retirees’ welfare and will continue to acknowledge their service to the State, hence the reason for the approval which is also geared towards cushioning the effects of the pandemic.
It would be recalled that the State recently flagged off the Biometric online verification of pensioners in the State, leveraging on technology to ease the statutory audit exercise by making pensioners participate from the comfort of their homes within the country and in the diaspora.
The exercise is held bi-annually to forestall financial leakages resulting from the payment of monthly pensions to deceased pensioners.