Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke (middle) receiving award on behalf of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. With him are top government officials and others.

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday disclosed that the state government has paid N78.593 billion into employees’ Retirees Savings Accounts, RSA maintained by 10 Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs as at March 2017.

Ambode spoke at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Lagos where Lagos State Government was conferred with the ‘Award for Excellence on Pension Matters’ by Peninscope Professional Warranty Limited.

The governor said the state government had never failed to remit monthly contributions into RSA of workers, which had amounted to N78.59 billion as at March this year.

Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke added that the government had been consistent in setting aside funds for the payment of accrued rights as provided for in the Pension Reform Law.

According to him, the state government had paid accrued pension rights of about N61 billion since the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentations in 2010.

“With the institution of such elaborate schemes by the Lagos State Government, it is not surprising that retiring public officers now look forward to retirement with more confidence and joy,” he said.

He said the present administration was irrevocably committed to the welfare of pensioners, as well as the dutiful discharge of pension obligations and the regular reform and retooling of government’s pension systems from time to time.

Ambode stated that the Lagos State Pension Reform Law now allowed for the maintenance of a RSA by each employee, which gave the workers responsibility over their retirement savings, as pensioners would no longer be at the mercy of employer.

“In addition, RSA maintained by millions of workers tend to generate massive long-term funds, which were available for investment. Owing to economies of scale, the cost of investing such funds tends to be relatively lower than if an individual worker was to undertake the investment on his or her own account,” he said.

Ambode also said the health of the economy was always a major concern of the government, explaining that aside from the law’s potential to promote national savings and by implication economic growth, funded pension schemes had the capacity to promote capital market development, adding that it was often argued that funded schemes had the capacity to promote economic reforms generally.

Convener, 2017 Peninscope Public Lecture, Award and Magazine launching, Peter Adediji said Ambode had displayed integrity in running the affairs of the state since he took over power in 2017.