Lagos State government pays 218 retirees benefit with N684 million
•As Assembly embarks on 2017 budget midterm review
The Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, has released the sum of N684m to pay accrued pension rights to 218 retirees across the state.According to the Public Affairs Officer, Basirat Lawal, told The Guardian that the retirees would draw from Mainstream Civil Service, Local Governments, and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Teachers Establishments and Pensions Office (TEPO) and other Parastatals of Government under the Contributory Pension Scheme for the month of June 2017.
Addressing the retirees at the 40th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation in Lagos, the Director-General- LASPEC, Folashade Onanuga, gave the retirees, His Excellency’s goodwill message stated that the retirees having contributed their quota to the development of Lagos State deserve to be treated like elderstatesmen with right to receive their pension early as active workers also receive their salaries on time. She implored the beneficiaries to be gentle with life. “Maintain a low profile, eat healthy and exercise well as this is what your body needs. Let moderation be your watchword”, she said.
She also explained that even though there is two options available for receipt of monthly Pension entitlements i.e. the Programmed Withdrawal and life annuity options, not many insurance companies have received PENCOM’s nod to transact Annuity business. However, Leadway Assurance plc, FBN Insurance Custodian Life and ARM life have gotten approval. Only Leadway assurance & ARM life are for now given approval to provide Annuity services for Lagos State Government retirees.
The retirees pray that God will continually give the Governor the heart of helping the less privileged. The Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) was recognised again as the ‘Best Public sector Pension Administrator in West Africa by the West Africa Innovation Awards 2017 held on Thursday, 29th, June 2017 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly has indicated moves to begin to probe the performance of the 2017 budget with a view to checking the midterm performance of all Ministers, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.
The House took steps to commence this move during the plenary yesterday when the Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. RotimiOlowo, pointed out that reviewing the budget performance in the past six months would also help give direction for the 2018 budget estimates, which he said had the potential of hitting the N1trn mark.
He said: “The exercise will help scrutinise how the MDAs are doing in terms of the revenue generated as well as their level of compliance with their capital and recurrent expenditure,” he said.
The call was supported by a number of other lawmakers including the Majority Leader, Hon. SanaiAgunbiade, who also posited that when carried out the exercise would help reveal whether the current budget estimates were working according to the House’s outlook.
He further posited that the move would also help the lawmakers to serve members of the public better, as the outcome of the exercise which would be eventually made public would help taxpayers know how their taxes had been put into use in the past six months.
In his view, the lawmaker representing Oshodi Isolo 2, Hon. Jude Idimogu, said the development was apt as it would help in scrutinising the activities of all the ministries including those he deemed not to have measured up to what was expected of them.
The lawmaker questioned the performance of agencies in charge of road maintenance in the state adding that most of the roads are unusable since raining season began.On his part, the Speaker of the House, Hon MudashiruObasa noted that the reviewing of budget would not only be an annual venture but periodically so that loopholes can quickly be corrected.
“The periodic review will help the Parliament in ascertaining how the executive is performing as far as the 2017 budget is concerned .this will also help in giving direction to the 2018 budget estimates.“ Not only will it help us in knowing the performance of MDAs, it will also help us to have an insight into their needs and what they might be lacking.”
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