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Lagos State pays N4.48bn pension benefits to 1,455 retirees

Lagos State Government paid another set of 1,455 retirees a total of N4.48 billion on Thursday as accrued pensions disbursed for the month of March.

The payment was made at the 104th retirement bond certificate presentation organised by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC).

At the 103rd retirement bond certificate presentation in February, when LASPEC paid N3.2 billion in accrued pensions to 1,013 retirees, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged to pay not less than N4 billion in March.

The governor assured that the state government would pay another N3 billion in April to settle all outstanding accrued pensions before the middle of the year.

“While we acknowledge the backlog in the payment of accrued rights, our attention is focused on systematically eliminating the backlog,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Sanwo-Olu as having said in February.

He expressed confidence then that before the end of his tenure, the government’s aspiration for a “pay-as-You-Go’’ model would be realised.

LASPEC’s Director-General, Mr. Babalola Obilana, said at Thursday’s presentation that the funds released were for civil servants who retired before the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme in 2007.

Obilana thanked Sanwo-Olu for his unwavering commitment to the welfare of the people of Lagos State.

He noted that the governor had continuously prioritised the needs of pensioners and approved policies to ease the financial burdens of retirees.

He noted that the governor had fulfilled his promise of clearing all pension backlogs and assured that by the middle of 2024, Lagos State retirees would be paid their entitlements as they exited service.

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“On behalf of Gov. Sanwo-Olu and the entire Lagos State Government, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you present at this memorable event.

“Lagos State is thankful for your accomplishments and the enduring contributions you have made throughout your distinguished careers.

“You have exemplified the values that define Lagos State: integrity, commitment, and excellence.

“Your dedication and hard work have contributed to the dream of a `Greater Lagos’. You are a source of inspiration for us all. Your legacy will undoubtedly continue to resonate within the public service,’’ Obilana said.

The director-general charged the retirees to be wary of fraudsters who prey on vulnerable pensioners and be sure to choose pension investments and plans that work for them and their families.

Obilana noted that life in retirement is a transition from the hustle and bustle of a professional life to the serene embrace of well-earned leisure.

He prayed that the future of the retirees would be filled with the joy and satisfaction of a well-lived professional journey.

In his remarks, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, promised that lawmakers would continue to support legislation to further improve the lives of pensioners.

Obasa, represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Establishments, Training, Pensions, and Public Service, Hon. Oladele Ajayi, stated that Lagos State is the only state in Nigeria that is committed to the monthly payment of pension benefits.

He assured that by the month of May, outstanding accrued pensions owed by the state would be cleared.

“All we want is your trust and support for this administration to thrive. Be assured that we will not fail you,’’ he said. (NAN)

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