By Abiodun Lawal
The Permanent Secretary, Ogun Bureau of Pensions, Mr Babatunde Agbaje, said on Thursday that the state government had paid N5.1billion to its pensioners between January and August.
Agbaje made this known during an oversight visit of the State Assembly Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to the Office of the State Head of Service in Abeokuta.
He explained that the state government had also approved the payment of N3.1 billion as gratuities to some pensioners in the first quarter of 2017.
The permanent secretary stated that the Bureau of State Pensions conducted: “I am alive exercise” for the state pensioners in May.
“The physical verification exercise was targeted to screen 12,571 pensioners but only 11,153 participated recording 88.72 per cent success,” he said.
Agbaje said that during the exercise, the pensioners’ bio-data were upgraded with passport and biometric capturing.
He said that N27.9 million was being saved by the state government on monthly basis due to the remaining 1,418 pensioners not screened, who were absent during the exercise.
Agbaje noted that the integration of technology into the management of Pension Fund Administration in the state would checkmate the usual bureaucracy in processing retirement benefits of intending retirees.
He explained that the bureau was faced with inadequate modern computer systems, which were needed for enhancement of staff productivity.
He stated that non-availability of utility vehicles for the bureau had been hindering its operations.
Responding, House Committee Chairman, Mr Razak Oduntan, urged the bureau to always ensure prompt payment of pensions to the pensioners.
Oduntan said that the committee would continue to make laws that would be of benefits to the pensioners and the people of the state. (NAN)