By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
Lagos State Government,yesterday, said it recorded a monthly revenue increase of N29.0 billion in 2012 as against an average of N18.9 billion in 2008, even as it appealed to the Federal Government to urgently pay N13, 373, 919, 675.55 being verified indebtedness it owed pensioners in the state.
Commissioner for Pensions, Establishments and Training, Mrs Florence Oguntuase, at the 2013 ministerial briefing to mark the sixth year anniversary of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration, lamented that the non-payment of the benefits had caused untold hardship to the pensioners and unnecessary burden on the state.
The commissioner explained that the unpaid arrears were Federal Government‘s share of the total benefits of the pensioners, noting that the state had consistently settled its own share.
According to her, “We are appealing to the Federal Government to settle the verified pension indebtedness to the tune of N1, 107,267,537 it owes retired workers of the state government and the N12, 266,652,137 of the workers in the Local Government.
The state government, through the Civil Service Pension Office, has forwarded applications for the arrears to the Federal Government and we hope they will pay the benefits before the pensioners pass on.”
The commissioner said the state had so far paid N18,031,148,931 in pension benefits to no fewer than 3,384 retired workers in the state and that a total of N39,518,948 had so far been remitted to the different Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs, by the government as its contribution to workers‘ pension accounts.
The commissioner put the total number of public service pensioners in the state at 14,934, and said the government had established a Pensioner Welfare Office, PWO, to take care of pensioners’ needs on retirement.
On workers’ training, Oguntunase said the government had in the last one year spent a total of N394,231,622 on the training of 7,457 of its workers.
She noted that a total of 22,622 workers of different categories underwent Performance Evaluation Examination under the same period, adding that the results of the assessment had since been implemented in the form of staff promotion.
On IGRI increase
Similarly, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru, said the increase in the monthly generated revenue amounted to an average yearly growth of 10.7 percent over five year period, saying Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, had in the last five years accounted for over 65 per cent of the total revenue of the State.
Abiru said the development further reflected the stable nature of the state’s fiscal revenue which continued to rely more on IGR rather than revenue receipts from the Federal Government.
According to him, the state would eventually focus more on IGR by consolidating on all sources of taxation with a view to ensuring that monies generated through taxes and other sources were judiciously used in providing developmental programmes.
for the entire populace of the state.
He said the state government prioritized funding of capital projects as against overhead expenditure, adding “the budgeting process of maintaining a funding preference for capital expenditure more than overhead expenditure already adopted by this administration will be sustained in the 2013 budget.”