Society should show compassion to retirees, older citizens ― Ambode

As UNILAG VC applauds LASG's efforts

LAGOS State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday enjoined the society to show extra compassion to retirees and older citizens, saying that retirees had sacrificed their “yesterday for our today.”

Governor Ambode made the call at the opening session of a training programme for directors and those close to retirement in the state civil service, with the theme: “Planning for Retirement: Pension Reforms in the Lagos State Public Services,” organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions.

“First, the Lagos State government appreciates that society should show extra compassion to retirees because they are the mothers and fathers of the society. They are our first teachers. They taught us how to love, how to care, how to give, how to forgive, how to accept, and most of all, they are our backbone of support.

“Without their endless sacrifice during our early years, we would not be capable of what we are today. We need to care for our retirees and the older citizens because they deserve to be cared for.

“Second, the Lagos State government appreciates that society should show extra compassion to retirees because our retirees and older citizens have more knowledge and wisdom than any one of us.

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“Their experiences through the turbulence of storms that life takes them through yield great wisdom. They have come so far, have learned so much, and we have a responsibility to learn from that wisdom,” Governor Ambode.

“For this simple reason, we must appreciate them. We may or may not know of all the ups and downs they have faced in life, but they have definitely gained experience that is worth respecting and learning from,” he added.

The governor, whose keynote address, which was presented by Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr Akintola Benson Oke, assured that his administration was a dedication to the welfare of all public servants during and after active service.

He said this was borne out of the fact that the administration fully understood and appreciated the role that public servants played in modern governance.

According to him, it is on this account that the state has been “loudly applauded and severally recognised for its exceptional excellence in pension administration, including awards and recognition from National Pension Commission.”

Governor Ambode, while assuring the state retirees and pensioners of a better deal, and urging them not to exercise any fear, said the state government had continued to remit money into officers’ Retirement Savings Account.

“While change may bring daunting challenges, you really have nothing to be anxious about. In the first place, you have the advantage of having served an organisation that has made adequate arrangements for your future in retirement.

“Furthermore, the Lagos State government has continued to remit money into officers’ Retirement Savings Accounts. Indeed, everyone should be proud to note that Lagos State remains perhaps the only state in the federation (that is, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria) that is up to date in its monthly remittances into serving employees’ Retirement Savings Accounts,” the governor said.

Speaking on the training, Governor Ambode said it was put together for the civil servants and other employees in the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Teachers’ Establishment and Pensions Office (TEPO), Government parastatals and local government staff, who would soon be retiring or have recently retired from the state’s public service.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, described the training as very important and timely, maintaining that for any personnel not to prepare for life after retirement, connotes that such person won’t have anything to fall upon.

He, however, expressed optimism with the way the state government was planning for its workforce to ensure that they do not suffer after retirement.

“Sequel to the above and with enough preparation by the present leadership of the Lagos State government, led by Mr Akinwummi Ambode, the better for the life of Lagos State retirees after retirement,” Prof Ogundipe said.

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