Lagos inspires innovation, pays over N16 billion pension in one year

Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Ajibola Ponnle at a Ministerial Press Briefing to mark Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu's One Year in Office; Wednesday June 3, 2020.

The Lagos State Government has initiated an interactive knowledge sharing platform to tap into the wisdom of its pool of civil-servant-staff for novel ideas that will aid the development of the state.

The platform known as SHIFT Talks, was disclosed Wednesday by the state’s Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Ajibola Ponnle at the Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the one year in office anniversary of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu held at the JJT park in the Alausa area of Ikeja, Lagos State.

In her remark to journalists at the event, Ponnle described the initiative as one that will help the State “at harvesting the collective wisdom inherent within the service, showcasing innovation by staff and networking to bridge the inter-ministerial gap”

Giving further explanation on how the initiative will also celebrate members of the Lagos State Government staff who distinguish themselves by following through on creative ideas, the Commissioner recognised some civil servants who had come up with ideas that aligned with the intent of the initiative in its first edition.

“Knowledge SHIFTer, like Mrs. Tope George, a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice shared nuggets from a book she authored while Innovation SHIFTer, Seun Ogunmolu, who launched an App he developed, was recognised by Mr. Governor for an excellent performance. It should be worthy of note that Mr. Ogunmolu was advanced to GL 10 as a result of his innovative drive”.

Giving performance account of her ministry and agencies under her supervision in the last one year, Ponnle noted that the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC) had by the end of March 2020, designed and implemented a total of 44 Learning and Development programmes for a total of 2,164 Public Service staff to enhance job performance.

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Among others, She listed the organisation of In-Plant, Tailor-Made Workshops and Seminars, sponsorship of officers for Local and foreign training and approval for Study Leave as programmes implemented to boost the morale of employees.

Reiterating the commitment of the Sanwo-Olu led government to boost service excellence, the Commissioner noted that: “We have trained a total of 4,210 staff during the year in-class sessions, representing 30% of the cumulative number trained in the previous four years, apart from the over 11,000 participants online”.

She averred that in order to ensure a safe, conflict-free and productive workplace, the Ministry provided strategic and expert advice on industrial relations and also played an important role in the successful negotiation of the new minimum wage plus consequential adjustments, noting that three months arrears, as agreed, had already been paid to employees between February and April 2020 during the lockdown.

Ponnle also emphasised that “the Lagos State Government pays more than the Federal recommended minimum wage, which shows the magnanimity of Governor Sanwo-Olu in ensuring that the ‘take-home’ of staff truly take them home”.

In the area of Pension payments, she affirmed that the State Government has consistently distinguished itself as the leading State in the payment of contributory payment scheme, its management, implementation and administration in Nigeria, while also leading the pack in the full implementation of an increase in employers’ contribution from 7.5% to 10% and employees contribution from 7.5% to 8%.

She submitted that a total of 4,104 retirees had their accrued pension rights of N16,759,441,707.75 credited into their RSAs between May 2019 to April 2020, saying that the government also approved the release of N13.75billion to fund the Redemption Bond Account, thereby increasing the additional funding rate from 5% to 10% of total annual staff emoluments in order to fully clear the backlog of arrears from the old defined benefit scheme era of pension management by the State.

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Ponnle stated further that the Lagos State Pension Commission, LASPEC, has commenced the issuance of pensioners ID cards to retirees while additional benefits that will accrue to civil service retirees, who hold ID cards, will be unveiled in due course.

She reaffirmed the commitment of the Ministry to developing initiatives that will ensure the mandate of a 21st Century-compliant workforce is achieved.


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