No fewer than 10,000 retirees are been owed their pension rights in Lagos State, Mr Babalola Obilana, Director-General, Lagos Pension Commission (LASPEC), has said.
Obilana said the commission also had about N10 billion to pay as outstanding accumulated debts for pensioners in the state.
He disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 95th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates Presentation For Retirees in Lagos on Saturday.
Obilana stated that the outstanding pension would be settled before the end of the first tenure of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in May 2023 as promised by the governor.
Recall that the state government paid more than N1.5 billion to 487 retirees for the month of June on Friday.
Obilana said that with the latest payment, pension benefit for retirees of year 2020 had been settled and the state government would proceed to start paying retirees for the year 2021 by July.
On the free transportation and healthcare promised by the state government for its retirees above 60 years, Obilana said that the government was firming up agreements that would lead to the implementation.
NAN reports that the state government had since 2020 proposed free transportation and healthcare for its elder statesmen.
In 2021, the state government promised to commence the free transportation for the retirees before the end of the first quarter and the free healthcare before the end of year 2022 respectively.
The director- general said that the welfare packages were yet to be implemented due to several processes required for negotiations and agreement with relevant transportation agencies that would facilitate it.
”We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel and very soon we will start with the free transportation for the retirees and subsequently we will start the free healthcare too.
“The commissioner for establishments is working day and night to ensure that we begin the implementation of these packages.
“Before the end of the third quarter of the year, we should be in the position to start, at least with the free transportation and then proceed to the free medical,” he said.
Also, the Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle said the government had paid over N42 billion as accrued pension rights to 11,349 retirees from 2019 till date.
According to her, the amount paid to the retirees is for their past service benefits prior to the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in 2007.
Recall that a recent release by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on the status of implementation of the CPS by States indicated that Lagos state is leading the pack in the Nigerian pension Industry.