The Lagos State Government has said it would not relent in its pursuit to improve life for its retirees and had placed the welfare and wellbeing of its pensioners as top-priority.
Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, made the pledge at the 96th Retirement Certificates Presentation organised by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) in Lagos, weekend.
“Recently, the State Government, through the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) and in collaboration with sister agencies, launched an upgraded Lagos State Resident Identity Card (LAG ID Card).
“The card will include benefits such as subsidised health care and transport services for our retired public servants.
“Please ensure you are registered with LASRRA to enjoy these benefits upon commencement,” Ponnle said.
According to her, the State Government has paid N1.113 billion as accrued pension rights into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of 295 retirees for the month of July.
The Commissioner stated that the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration had paid over N43 billion as accrued pension rights to 11,644 retirees in its public service from May 2019 till date.
Ponnle said: “ The State Government recognises the plight of our estimable workers who have served in the Lagos State public service and the need to safeguard their financial security after service.
“To this end, it implemented the payment of the new minimum wage six months after the new wage bill was adopted as law and with a higher amount than the approved recommendation in response to global and national economic challenges.
“The State also implemented the upward review of pension contributions from 7.5 per cent of employee and employer contributions to 8 per cent employee contributions and 10 per cent employer contributions.
“This is in line with the administration’s vision to cater for its workforce even in retirement”, she stated.
The Commissioner congratulated the retirees, wished them the best and advised them to carefully review the retirement savings options available for them to utilise their money prudently.
She charged them to contact LASPEC or the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions should they require clarifications or advice on their retirement benefit matters.
“Please embrace the joy and challenges of this new phase of life. Be prudent with your money and practice a healthy lifestyle to enjoy your retirement,” she said.
In his address, the Director-General , LASPEC, Mr Babalola Obilana, said the Sanwo-Olu’s administration deserve applaud for its constant support for the payment of pension obligations and the various policies initiated to better the lives of the senior citizens.
Obilana stated that the contributions of Lagos State to the success of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria was an undisputable fact.
“Lagos State is a trail blazer in the industry with 10 per cent employer and eight per cent employee contributions remitted monthly into individuals RSAs after salaries are received.
“The Governor approved the automation of business processes in LASPEC to ensure first class service delivery to our dear retirees in order to accomplish the State Government’s goal of the immediate payment of pension entitlements upon retirement from the public service,” he said.
The Director General appreciated the efforts and contributions of the retirees whilst in the service, noting that the vision of a ‘Greater Lagos’ would have been an impossible dream without them.
Obilana urged the elderstatesmen to beware of any Individual or Association who claim to be affiliated with the state government and can process or fast track their pension entitlements for a fee.
NIMASA Boss Bags OFR National Honour
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, is set to be honoured by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari with the conferment of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).
According to a statement from the Head of Public Relations, NIMASA, Osagie Edwards, this was disclosed in a conveyance letter to Dr. Jamoh from the Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume.
The investiture ceremony, the statement said, is scheduled to hold at the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October, 2022.
Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years before he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.
Since then, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994.
This has culminated in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, (IMB).
A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve major milestones in the sector.
One notable example of this has been his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has yielded the positive outcomes derived from information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.
Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour.
“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).
“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that I would be so favored by Almighty Allah to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”, he said.
Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.
Nation-Building, A Collective Responsibility -Group
The Nigeria National Christian Coalition (NNCC) says no tribe or religion can build the country alone, adding that nation building is a collective responsibility.
NNCC said this in a communiqué at the end of the annual “Meet the Church” summit by its Convener, Pastor Titi Oluwadare, yesterday in Abuja.
According to Oluwadare, working together and investing wisdom are key to nation building.
The programme, which had more than 700 participants, had the theme: “The Role of the Church in Nation Building.”
Oluwadare called on the Church to fight for justice for everyone, including Christians and adherents of other religions.
She said that the indivisibility of justice, and being vigilant to protect the rights of humans as enshrined in the constitution would go a long way.
“No tribe or religion can build the country alone, thus all must work together and invest wisdom which is the application of the right knowledge.
“Equal opportunities and access to wealth to every Nigerian and inclusion of youth and women in all national calculations must be treated with the sense of urgency that it deserves.
“There should be counterpart equity in all policies that will be passed into law.
“The banking sector, sharing of political and government offices or ambassadorial positions must recognise all interests identified in Nigeria,” she said.
She called for selfless and visionary leadership, and a trans-generational process of producing leaders with requisite character, competence and conscious of the consequences of their actions and inactions.
She said the creation and development of strong institutions, structures, policies and strategies were applicable to everyone, adding that there was the need to realise previous mistakes and usher in a new Nigeria.
“To establish credible elections, the Federal Government must derive their governance from the governed.
“It is of utmost importance that there is a national vision, a national dream and nationhood premised on national shared core values.
“Furthermore, we need to put in place, a national strategic purpose and the national will to pursue and enforce the purpose,” she said.
According to the former Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Dr Danjuma Gani, the decisions made today and the actions that follow will greatly affect Nigeria and Nigerians.
Gani called on Christians to participate in electoral processes come 2023.
“A nation is built upon the vision and values of the founding fathers which, more often than not, are a God-given ideal to see to the business of nation building, national transformation and prosperity.
“Whatever we do must be accomplished with a clear vision, strong value systems rational thinking with a critical mass of information populace fully engaged in the project of nation building,” he said.
The Tide source reports that the summit comprised three plenary sessions and four interactive group sessions.
The conversations were aimed at identifying the role of the Church in nation building and charting a new course for credible elections with the critical inclusion of all stakeholders in the nation.
EEDC Nabs, Hands Over Eight Vandals To Police
Enugu Electricity Distri bution Company (EEDC), has apprehended eight suspected vandals of electrical installations and handed them over to the Police. The Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Enugu, stated that the vandals were apprehended within a period of one month in different states in the South-East. Ezeh, therefore, attributed service disruptions experienced in some parts of its network to activities of vandals, expressing regret that the increasing rate of vandalism had adversely affected the company’s service delivery to its customers in the affected states. He, however commended the support of critical stakeholders and the various vigilante groups in nipping trend in the bud, even as he confirmed that most of the arrests were made by the vigilant groups. According to him, this recent citizens’ arrest of vandals can be attributed to the consistent engagement with stakeholders on the need to ensure that the electrical installations sited within their neighbourhoods are protected. His words: “Over the weekend, a suspected vandal identified as Nonso Nwajonta, was arrested in possession of aluminum conductors (cables) by the youths of Ulakwo Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State. “Within the same period, with the assistance of security men attached to Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, two suspects, feanyi Onwe and Anthony Oselebe, were arrested for vandalising a substation belonging to EEDC, situated along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, by Pioneer Students Hostel. “Earlier in the month, at Uzuakoli, Abia State, the Ngwu relief distribution substation belonging to EEDC was attacked by vandals, and the up-riser cable carted away. “But with the intervention of Uzuakoli vigilante group, one of the vandals identified as Henry Nwachukwu was arrested, while three of his partners in crime took to their heels. Efforts are being made by the Police to arrest the fleeing suspects. “At Eziafor in Abia State, some members of vigilante group also arrested the duo of Kingsley Agwu and Ebere Uchendu, while vandalising a feeder panel, property of EEDC,” he stated. The EEDC spokesman also recalled that toward the end of August this year, one Chukwuka Ogayi was arrested by members of Umuoru Amaechi Community electricity committee in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State while vandalising a distribution transformer belonging to EEDC. According to him, items recovered from the suspect, Ogayi, include 100mm 2 aluminum conductor with 20mm and 50mm double copper conductor measuring 5 meters. “Similarly, the Nkpor vigilante group arrested one Ubaka Okafor for vandalising Umusiome distribution substation in Onitsha, Anambra State, carting away three intermediate cables as well as the up-riser cable property of EEDC. “Customers being fed by the attacked substations are currently subjected to blackout and untold inconveniences, and as a result, EEDC has not been able to live up to its responsibility owing to these acts perpetrated by the suspects”, he said. He also encouraged customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that the electricity infrastructures within their environment are safe from vandals, so that the services EEDC offers to them would not be disrupted.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
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