Obaseki inaugurates pension committee, fine-tunes strategy to clear N3.9bn arrears
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state has put up structures to clear pension arrears accumulated from 1996 to 2000, noting that the migration of public servants to the contributory pension scheme will forestall a repeat of the trend.
Obaseki made this known while inaugurating the Ad-Hoc Committee on Pension Management at the Government House, Benin City, Edo State, on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Obaseki said his administration would continue to work to clear pension arrears, adding, “We cannot solve all the problems of pensioners in one day. This problem accumulated for a long time. As a government, we are committed to resolving all pension-related problems.”
He said a critical step the government has undertaken to avert delay in pension payment is to ensure civil servants start documentation for pensions six months to their retirement. He noted that this would ensure immediate payment after retirement from service.
He further said that the inauguration of the committee is in accordance with the provisions contained in section 17 sub-section 3 of the Pension Act, adding “The committee is meant to supervise and ensure effective administration of contributory pension scheme in the public service”.
Obaseki said that Edo State government has begun the implementation of the contributory pension scheme as the first realistic step to end pension problem in the state.
“Edo State Government employees who have more than five years to retirement have joined the contributory pension scheme. The fund for the payment of their pension is in a special account usually with their pension fund administrators. We have also appointed pension fund administrators and custodians who will hold those funds.”
He said Edo State has been rated as one of those states in the country that pay their pension contributions under the contributory pension scheme on time.
“We have mandated that the Pension Bureau office at Ring Road (Ethiope Building) should be refurbished in the first quarter of 2018 to reduce the discomfort of pensioners and make things easy for them”.
Chairman of the Committee, Dannis Juwobor, thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in them as members of the committee promising to do their best and discharge their responsibility effectively.
He said they will deliver on the committee’s mandate which is to ensure smooth operation of the contributory pension scheme.
“We are delighted to note that members of the trade union are represented on this committee and are in position to understand the workings of the committee and enlighten their members to eliminate the fear by their members and work together to ensure that the mandate of the Bureau is achieved as all pension matters will be handled diligently to the benefit of all stakeholders.”