By Segun Giwa
Akure – The National Pension Commission (PENCOM) on Wednesday rated high the commitment and preparedness of the Ondo State Pension Commission (OSPEC) for full implementation of its Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
Mr Dan Ndackson, the Head of States Operations in PENCOM, who led a delegation to the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, in Akure, said their level of preparedness for scheme was in advance stage.
Ndackson commended the efforts of the government towards full blown commencement of CPS in the state.
“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 and complementary staff that will do the job, and that is a major step in the right direction.
“This government has set up its high level implementation committee charged with the responsibility of ensuring full implementation of the scheme. That is a gesture which shows the seriousness of a government on the scheme and this is commendable.
“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,” the PENCOM head of states operations said.
He said their visit was 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 ensure 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 the law. This is a good one,” Ndackson said.
Responding, Akinterinwa said that the Akeredolu-led government remained resolute to the full blown implementation of the CPS, noting that the scheme would take off soon.
Akinterinwa expressed the state government’s readiness to partner with PENCOM to fast track the smooth operation of the scheme in the state.
The state Head of Service, Mr Toyin Akinkuotu, also 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 queuing 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,” he said.
Earlier, the OSPEC Director-General, Mr Jaiyeola Olowosuko, said the visit of PENCOM team became imperative to help the state to fine tune the implementation processes.
Olowosuko reassured the commitment of the state government to the full implementation of the CPS.
He said the state was ready and willing to ensure the CPS was implemented successfully and become sustained.
On the involvement of labour unions, the Olowosuko said the scheme had their backing and they were committed and were eagerly waiting for its implementation.
“We have on the board of the pension commission, NLC, TUC, JNC among other labour leaders, so any decision 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 said.