Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) on Thursday revealed that a total of 1,620 staff of the Lagos State Public Service and Parastatals were expected to retire in the first half of 2020.
Mrs Folashade Onanuga, Director-General, LASPEC, disclosed this at the 17th Retirement Benefit Documentation Seminar for employees in the state’s public service.
Onanuga said that the commission had begun processes for the documentation of the prospective retirees who were due to leave the service at various periods from January to June 2020.
She said the seminar was also organised as a pre-retirement gathering aimed at preparing the beneficiaries on what they should put in place ahead of the retirement documentation. According to her, a total of 1,560 retirees attended the seminar.
“The seminar is organised to let them know the paper work and the documents they are to make available to the commission, so that by the time they retire, we would have gotten their details and be in the process of putting their funds into their retirement savings accounts.
“It is also another meeting to inform them of certain steps they need to take to ensure that they live a good life after retirement, take care of their health, manage their finance and also propose to write a will, ” she said
The Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, Mrs Ajibola Ponle, said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was passionate about the welfare of the pensioners because he was a former commissioner for the Ministry and understood their challenges.
“When the Governor came on board, part of the challenges he faced was how to clear the backlog of accrued pension. We have been going back and forth to resolve all the pending issues and I can tell you now that all the backlog will soon be cleared. “Approval has also been granted to make sure that some of the short funds are cleared and this indicates that the governor cares about the retirees.”
Ponle, represented by Mr Kayode Ogunbiyi, Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Pension Office, said that the seminar was geared toward equipping the pensioners to do the needful to prevent a recurrence of such backlog of unpaid benefits.
Mr Hakeem Tairu, Director, Local Government Staff Pension Board, said the the pensioners should henceforth be preparing for life after retirement. “With the education you have received today on how to take care of your health and invest wisely, we do not wish to see any of you wretched after retirement.
“This is because Lagos State is trying to ensure that no pensioner lives in penury after retirement. As a result of this, we expect that you keep your body and soul together, so that whenever we see you on the street, we would be proud of of you as good retired ambassadors of Lagos State.”Tairu, however, advised the pensioners to curtail their lifestyle because of the economic reality and live within their present resources.
Also, Dr David Udo-Umo, during his health talk titled: Healthy Living/Life Style in Retirement, advised the retirees to eat healthy and over three times in small proportion daily. “You should eat at least one meal between breakfast and lunch, another between lunch and dinner. “You should not eat out of hunger because you would eat excessively and when this happens, it causes indigestion.” Udo-Umo advised the prospective retirees to carry out regular check -up and engage in exercises such as walking frequently.
Mr Bello Abass, a retiree, lauded the commission for organising an all-encompassing seminar for the retirees. “I have learnt that to have a successful retirement, one must manage his or herself, money and plan well. “I have also learnt on what kind of food I should eat or avoid to improve my health and how to invest for my children’s future, ” he said.