By OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
IKEJA—Lagos State Government, yesterday, appealed to the Federal Government to pay the N11.2 billion indebted to pensioners in the state.
Commissioner for Establishment, Pensions and Training, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, made the call at the ministerial briefing to commemorate the first anniversary of the second term administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola.
She said the money was an accumulated debt of seven years pensions benefit accrued to the state as pension benefits.
Oguntuase said the non-payment of the benefits by the Federal Government had caused anxiety for affected pensioners, adding that N1.1bn and N10.1bn had been verified and approved as reimbursement to the state and local governments, respectively.
She expressed optimism that the outcome of the pensions investigation ongoing by the Senate Committee on Establishments and Pensions would be favourable to the states and local government areas.
She said: “These figures are cumulative from 2005 and had been verified and they are with them in Abuja, but we don’t know when they would pay. The committee assured us that as soon as their finding are concluded, they would ensure that no pensioner was owned anything, so Lagos pensioners are eagerly looking forward to when they will be paid.
“The N11.2 billion unpaid arrears represent part of pensioners’ benefits that was supposed to be paid by the Federal Government to pensioners of the state government. We appeal to the Federal Government to pay the arrears and hope that the Senate Committee on Pension Verification, which was in the state recently had assured us that it would be looked into with a view to ensuring payment.”