Ambode assures Lagos retirees of continuous support, assistance

Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured that the state government will continue to ensure that public service retirees not only get what is due to them statutorily but also continue to receive further and additional support and assistance that will add value to their lives in retirement.

Governor Ambode gave this assurance on Tuesday while speaking at the opening session of training for senior civil servants with the theme: “Preparing for Life after Retirement: Understanding the Contributory Pension Scheme,” declaring that this assurance was in fulfilment of his commitment as stated during his inaugural, way back in 2015.

According to the governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Dr Akintola Benson Oke, the state government will ensure fulfilment of this objective through the ministry, the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) and other agencies and programmes.

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“Let me assure you that the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions and through LASPEC will continue to ensure that public service retirees not only get what is due to them statutorily but also continue to receive, through other agencies and programmes, further and additional support and assistance that will add value to their lives in retirement.

“Amongst others, this commitment is in fulfilment of the declaration by His Excellency who, in his inaugural speech, said: ‘I shall run an open government of inclusion that will not leave anybody behind. No matter your age, sex, tribe or any other status as long as you reside in Lagos, we will make Lagos work for you.’

“Thus, our retirees can take joy in the fact that they are not, and will not, be left behind in the scheme of things by the Lagos State government,” Governor Ambode said.

The governor, while noting that the Contributory Pension Scheme and its enabling legal regime now in operation was a better option than one that was in use in the past, contended that prioritising pensioners’ welfare had moral, economic, strategic and social ramifications.

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“It is only such a holistic view of the subject that can put the efforts directed by the Lagos State government at pension management and promotion in perspective.

“On a moral pedestal, I have always said that all persons of goodwill ought to pursue and reiterate that is morally reprehensible for any employer to neglect or refuse to plan and cater for the benefit of its employees who gave the prime of their active years to the employing institution.

“Thankfully, this is an area where the Lagos State government has continued to set an excellent example. From the legal point standpoint, the Lagos State government, being the first state in the Federation to domesticate the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014 has also been the most notably compliant with its provisions.

“Additionally, and in the noted manner of this administration, the government has invested heavily in the education of the administrators of the pension regulations and in the sensitization of the public officers who stand to be most directly and immediately affected by the pension regulations embedded in the domesticated law,” Governor Ambode said.

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“The purpose of this training, therefore, is to ensure that all public servants and especially those who are nearing retirement are trained on an ongoing base on implications of the laws and regulations relating to the Contributory Pension Scheme with a view to ensuring that they adequately prepare for the future,” he said.

Speaking with newsmen, the facilitator and the Founder, Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, commended Lagos State government for the training, saying it was of great importance for every civil and public servant to have adequate preparation for retirement so as to plan well and effectively when out of service

The Permanent Secretary, Mrs Rhoda Ayinde, who also spoke with newsmen, said the state government was so passionate about its workers and, therefore, the need for such training to prepare for retirement and their future.

“The state government don’t want any of its workers to agonise, hence the training. We all know what retirement is all about, that is why the state government wants us to have enough training before we retire so that we can prepare adequately”, she said.

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