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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Lagos Govt. disburses N4.43bn as death benefits to civil servants

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that over N4.43 billion has been paid as insurance benefits and claims to families and relatives of deceased civil servants in 5 years

Aside from that, it has allay fears of Lagosians on its debt servicing capacity, saying our efforts not to default has continued to earn us good global rating by financial experts.

The Commissioner for Finance, Abayomi Oluyomi, who disclosed this yesterday during the 2024 ministerial press briefing held in Ikeja, said that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration has often ensured better financial management in the state since assumption of office.

He noted that this formed reasons for prompt payment of Group Life Policies insurance premium for welfare of staff as well as non-life premium for all the assets of the state government within state.

He stated that the administration has disbursed N2.67 billion in death benefits and N1.76 billion in claims to staff and their families in the last quarter of 2023, bringing the total benefits paid out in the last quarter to N4.43 billion.

Oluyomi emphasized that the current administration prioritized retirees’ welfare by adequately funding the Pension Sinking Fund and Pension Redemption Bond Fund to ensure that retirees receive their due benefits after dedicating years of service to the government.

He further disclosed that the State Government has demonstrated its commitment to the welfare of retirees by paying a total of N63.7 billion to 18,494 retirees since the current administration took office.

The Commissioner, meanwhile, said that the state’s financial management has been recognized with a rating upgrade in 2021 and successive reaffirmations, with top rating agencies affirming its stable outlook and low risk of default in 2023/2024.

“This has paved the way for easier access to credit and favorable borrowing terms, following the state’s prompt repayment of principal and interest on government loans and bonds” he added.

Oluyomi, however, said that the 2,082 complaints received over land use charge fees were resolved using administrative, mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes.

According to the commissioner, the Land Use Charge Assessment Appeal Tribunal (LUCAAT) established pursuant to the Land Use Charge Law has consistently provided an avenue for persons dissatisfied with the LUC imposed on their properties to appeal.

He added that the complaints received via walk-ins, letters, petitions, referrals, telephone calls, WhatsApp, Resolution Week programme among others.

The Commissioner said that the tribunal introduced remote resolution to afford property owners in diaspora the opportunity of resolving their complaints/disputes without physical attendance.

“The tribunal’s impacts within the review period include: cleared backlogs of property owners who had high land use charge arrears using mediation efforts to resolve long-standing issues; improved service delivery through the introduction of e-channels as means of initiating and resolving complaints.”

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