Presentation Of The 4th Batch Of Retirement Bond Certificates To Retirees Under The Contributory Pension Scheme
Oct 21, 2011 - Although this is fourth in the series of presentation of retirement Bond Certificates, the third and the fourth in the series of these events have been the most challenging for us.
At the onset of the agitation for increased wages which resulted in the enactment of a minimum wage law of N18,000.00 (Eighteen Thousand Naira Only) very little was heard, during the debates about the impact of those wage increases on the pension obligation of the State.
It would seem that many commentators had overlooked the fact that Nigeria had adopted a compulsory Contributory Pension Scheme that imposes an obligation on Government to contribute 7.5% of the employees' salary into a retirement savings account.
We were always mindful of this obligation and not only are we the first State to start the payment of the minimum wage even before the law was passed, we have not defaulted on the payment of our 7.5% contribution to our employees.
The commitment to the present and future welfare of our workers has not come easy.
It has increased our outgoings for personnel and recurrent costs by over N2.4 Billion per month even though we have not seen such commensurate increases in our revenue.
The way to sustain this payment, and enable us respond to other social services is for all employees in the State public service to re-dedicate themselves into productive activities that will yield more resources and revenues and avoid any disruption of work especially through strikes.
It is only by being functional that we can continue to respond to the present welfare needs of our workers and prepare for their future needs which will ensure many more of this type of bond presentation ceremonies.
Today, the total employee and State's contributions credited into the retirement savings account of all employees under the Contributory Pension Scheme as at September, 2011, stands at N26,292,481,183.00. (Twenty Six billion, Two Hundred & Ninety Two Million, Four Hundred & Eighty One Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty Three Naira Only).
The 1st set of Retirement Bond Certificates was issued to 142 retirees in October, 2010. By July, 2011, a total number of 650 Retirement Bond Certificates had been issued and an amount of N3,536,538,651.06 had been credited into the Retirement Savings Accounts, being accrued pension rights made up of gratuity and pension entitlements of the retirees for years spent in service before 31st of March, 2007 when we transited into the Contributory Pension Scheme.
The retirement savings account of the then retiring employees was made up of the pension and gratuity entitlements under the old scheme, the contributions made by them and the State Government up till their exit date, plus the accrued interest.
We are delighted that these 650 retirees have commenced the receipt of monthly income and have collected their lump sum which enabled them to be financially empowered to embark on small or medium scale enterprises.
Reports reaching me and which gladdens my heart is that some of these retirees have ventured into various businesses, some have recruited personnel and they are now employers of labour.
These reports ginger us to continue to strive to improve on our efficiency level so that we will get to that point where at retirement, by the following month, the retiree will become an active pensioner.
I rejoice with all the retirees here today because, you are about to join the league of financially empowered retirees.
In this batch 4 exercise, a total number of 471 retirees will have their retirement savings accounts credited with the accrued rights. The value of accrued rights which has already been redeemed into the Retirement Savings Account of these retirees is N2,287,787,241.36. (Two Billion, Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty One Naira, Thirty Six Kobo only).
In total, we have, as at today, redeemed Retirement Bonds of N5,824,325,892.42 (Five Billion, Eight Hundred and Twenty Four Million, Three Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Niety Two Naira, Forty Kobo Only) into the retirement savings account of 1121 retirees.
Inspite of these successes, there are still some challenges to overcome with some of the Pension Fund Administrators to ensure that the process of your access to the RSA balance is seamless.
We are working tirelessly to ensure that those of the Pension Fund Administrators that are yet to match our service expectations do so; because, your comfort is our joy and we will not be satisfied until we ensure that the peace you deserve in old age is not compromised by any operator who by the Law, is supposed to make life easy for you.
Once again, I rejoice with all the 471 recipients of the Retirement Bond Certificates and members of their families. We thank you for the productive years of labour which you have invested in the development of Lagos State.
On behalf of the government and the good people of Lagos State I wish you a worthy retirement and long life in good health.
Thank you for your attention and God bless
Eko o ni baje o
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Governor of Lagos State