Through various means, the Lagos State Government has made conscious efforts to prioritize and see to the welfare of retirees in the state. Despite the revenue shortfall caused by COVID-19, the government demonstrated its commitments and passion for the welfare of retirees in 2020.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave pensioners a democratic dividend when he approved a 33 percent raise for all state pensioners under the Defined Benefits Scheme, also known as Pay As You Go. The Sanwo-Olu administration has also devised a number of plans and overseen the implementation of a number of social initiatives aimed at ensuring the well-being of employees after they retire.
Because of the administration’s commitment to innovation, it took advantage of technology by launching an online biometric verification program for state retirees. This is to alleviate the burden on retirees who must travel long distances for auditing.
Aside from saving time, the ideology behind this innovation is also concerned with the elderly citizens’ well-being. The primary collectors can complete the verification process from the comfort of their own homes, regardless of their location.
Empowering retirees with skills that will enable them to be even more productive in retirement is an important part of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-new Olu’s deal for them. In some cases, employees retire and discover that they spent more time in their prime building careers that end abruptly after retirement, leaving them without the necessary skills to fall back on. The need to empower pensioners, according to Lagos State Head of Service Mr. Hakeem Muri Okunola, is part of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s promise of an all-inclusive government.
The timely payment of pension is undeniably important in the lives of retirees. In some ways, it aids in the monitoring of their physical and mental health. Every retiree expects his or her accrued pension fund to be paid when it is due after statutory retirement. Developing countries are frequently confronted with pension risk factors. The most notable is mismanagement or misappropriation of funds, which results in a budget deficit. As a result, the number of unpaid retirees rises, while funds allocated to them dwindle.
The arduous pains that retirees across the country endure before receiving their hard-earned benefits usually send shivers down the spines of those still serving in the military. Retirement, which is supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation, almost always turns into a time of stress and anguish for retirees. Frequently, some of them perish in unavoidable circumstances.
In the area of timely payment of pensioners’ entitlements, the Lagos State Government is setting a positive example for others in the country to follow. The state government has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the welfare of retirees by depositing over 1 billion naira into the Retirement Saving Account (RSA) of pensioners on a monthly basis.
This may have prompted the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) to award Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu the “Excellence and Greater Commitment to Pensioners’ Welfare” award. The reason for this, according to the Union, is that the governor had clear inherited pension liabilities from the previous administration in the state within a two-year period.
The Sanwo-Olu administration had credited 7,998 pensioners with over N32 billion in their RSAs as of June 2021. The state government, according to Mrs. Ponnle Ajibola, Commissioner for Establishment, Training, and Pension, is fully committed to the interests and welfare of its retirees. As a result, they are given priority by receiving prompt payment of their entitlements.
Source: The Sun