From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The first set of retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Ekiti State have begun accessing their retirements benefits.
Governor Kayode Fayemi who supervised the payment of the benefits to thirty (30) retirees who are in the first batch of the scheme said he was happy that the seed of the CPS sown by his first administration has begun to yield dividends.
Handing over the cheques to the beneficiaries at a ceremony in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, the Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi said that his administration holds the welfare of serving retired workers in high esteem.
Fayemi disclosed that the CPS was introduced during his first term in 2010 as an alternative to the backlog of unpaid arrears under the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) running into billions of Naira not only in Ekiti State but in Nigeria as a whole.
He said that this culminated in the establishment of Ekiti State Pension Scheme to manage the CPS of employees in the state public service in pursuant to Ekiti State Pension Law No. 7 of 2010.
The Governor stated that efforts are equally ongoing to ensure that subsequent CPS Retirees are paid their retirement benefits promptly.
Fayemi who urged the beneficiaries to judiciously utilize the fund reiterated the commitment of his administration to the people of the state despite the challenges of meagre resources.
While presenting his goodwill message at the occasion, the state Head of Service, Mr. Bamidele Agbede, described the CPS as a lasting solution to the old DBS because of its promptness.
He explained that the prompt and proper implementation of the scheme has given assurance to retirees on receipt of their terminal benefit as soon as possible.
Agbede also described the implementation of CPS as the beginning of new life for public servants in the state particularly its participants.
The Head of Service urged all employers of labour that are yet to fully participate to key in accordingly.
The state number one civil servant appreciated the State Government on this land mark and for moving the State public service to the next level.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the State Pension Commission, Mr. Afolabi Adebiyi, enumerated the achievements of the agency in the performance of its statutory duties.
These, according to him, include recovery of arrears of unremitted pension commission deduction from defaulting employees of labour, creation of database for all pensioners in the state and local governments and allocation of new office accommodation to the commission within the State Secretariat.