By Evelyn Omotoye
Ondo State has been rated high in the level of its commitment and preparedness to commence full blown implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme for its workers.
The Head of States, Operations, National Pension Commission, PENCOM, Dr. Dan Ndackson who led a delegation to the state stated this during a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa yesterday.
Ndackson who stated that the state was in advance stage of the scheme commended the efforts of the government towards the full blown commencement of the CPS in the state
His words:”One of the major things that any state needs to do to show its intent to adopt the scheme is to pass the law, this the state has done.
“It has also created an administrative structure with a Director General (DG) and complementary staff that would do the job”, saying that it is a major step in the right direction.
“This government has set up a high level implementation committee charged with the responsibility of ensuring full implementation of the scheme. That is a gesture which showed the seriousness of a government on the scheme and this is commendable”, he said.
“In many states that have adopted the scheme, they have not yet settled down to do this. So if you compare Ondo state with them, Ondo State is in advance stage”, he added.
He said their visit is to help discuss with the state on how to put the necessary machinery in place in order to comply with the provisions of the law of the scheme to enable its smooth running.
“We are happy for the level of readiness of the state and following the last assessment the PENCOM did, the state is very compliant with its provision of law. This is a good one”, Ndackson said.
Responding, Ondo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa stated that the Akeredolu led government remained resolute to the full blown implementation of the CPS, noting that it would take off anytime soon.
Akinterinwa expressed the readiness of the government to partner the national pension body to move forward on the scheme, assuring that the state would be up-to-date within the shortest possible time the scheme fully commences.
The state Head of Service, Mr. Toyin Akinkuotu expressed pleasure over the development, saying it should be embraced by all workers to give them peaceful retirement.
“I want to charge all workers in the state to see the development as a big achievement not for the government but for themselves to be captured under the scheme which will save them from queueing for their gratuity or pension in the future.
“With this scheme, you are sure of getting your entitlements as and when due, you don’t have to lobby, you don’t have to run helter skelter. Nobody would tell you there is no fund because you have contributed towards your own final entitlements”, the HoS noted.
The Director General of Ondo State Pension Commission, OSPEC, Mr. Jaiyeola Olowosuko said the visit of PENCOM team became imperative to help the state to fine-tune the implementation processes in ensuring it is hitch-free when the scheme commenced full blown.
He reiterated the commitment of the present administration in the state to the full implementation of the CPS, saying it is ready and willing to ensure the CPS is implemented successful and sustained.
On the involvement of labour unions, the OSPEC boss said the scheme has their backings and they are committed and have been eagerly waiting for the full implementation of the CPS.
“We have on the board of the pension commission, TUC, JNC among other labour leaders, so any decisions we are taking, is on behalf of and in the interest of workers in the state. The issues we had had been resolved four years ago”, he affirmed.
Meanwhile, the PENCOM team as well as top officials of OSPEC led by its DG visited the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission,OSOPADEC which is already fully in the scheme, to engage them in a way forward of managing the scheme more successfully.
Members of the implementation committee in state who received the PENCOM team include the Acountant General, Mr. Akinkuolie, SA Intergovemental and multilateral relations, Mrs Bunmi Ademosu and top management officials of OSPEC .