Lagos State government, on Wednesday, disclosed that it has paid a total of N4,032,138,849billion to the pensioners in the state through its online verification scheme.
The State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponle, made this known while speaking at the ongoing annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the 2nd year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration in office.
Ponle also revealed that, with the online scheme, the ministry was able to save the sum of N1.5billion by eliminating 2,000 ghost pensioners with the new system introduced.
The commissioner, while noting that the new pension scheme and contributory pension scheme were not new in the state, said there had been an increase on the latter from 15 per cent to 18 per cent public servants’ contributions.
Speaking further, Ponle said due to the exemplary role played by Governor Sanwo-Olu for pensioners, the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) recently gave him an award of excellence to appreciate his welfarism for the retirees.
This was just as he disclosed that the governor, as part of the state’s commitment to the welfare of pensioners, approved payment of 33per cent increment for all state pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and also paid the balance of the 25per cent rent allowance for officers on Grade Level 07 and above who retired between May 2000 and August 2004.
“There are currently 15 approved Pension Funds Administrators (PFA) and seven approved Insurance Companies who render pension funds management and annuities services to retirees in the State. Today, Lagos State is a trailblazer and pacesetter in pension matters in Nigeria having won awards as most pension compliant in the dispensation on several occasions,” the commissioner stated.
On training, Ponle said the ministry leveraged on several online virtual platforms to embark on training programmes in a successive manner for the state’s employees and was able to train over 73,448 public servants in Y2020 as against the yearly average of 3,000 trained employees.
Giving a breakdown of the various training programmes, Ponle said that 73 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government directly benefitted from the training initiatives which was over 30 generics and 17 job-specific.
“A total of 3101 officers were trained in 2020 across 98 Ministries, Department, Agencies and Parastatals under the virtual training initiative comprising of 52 Grade Level 17 officers, 272 GL 16, 1023 GL 15, 901 GL 14, 901 GL 14 and 851 GL 13,” she said.
The Commissioner also disclosed that the ministry had commenced the review of the Public Service Rules (PSR) to ensure that conditions of Service were at par with global standards, saying that the state government had already noted some areas in the PSR in dire need of review.
She assured that work was also ongoing on the creation of Lagos State Schemes of Service to attract and retain talents that suit the peculiarities of the state as well as accommodate the changing curriculum of tertiary Institutions.
As part of additional innovations introduced to capacity development of public servants in the state, Ponle stated that the present administration introduced the “EXCO SHARES” initiative as a platform where Executive Council members share their knowledge and expertise with public servants on diverse issues and topics of interest.
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Lagos pays N4.032bn to pensioners in the last two years