Lagos ex-education staff lament non-payment of retirement benefits

Don’t worry; plans are underway to pay you –Director  

By Ileme Chidiebele

Retired staff of the Office of Education, District 4, Surulere, Lagos has expressed his disappointment over the failure of the state government to pay their gratuity and pension allowances. They accused the state government of abandoning them in their old age, despite years of service to their fatherland.
The aggrieved staff expressed their grievances during the retirement ceremony of the Deputy Director of the Office of Education, Zone 13, Surulere, Otunba Azzan Olufemi.  Some retirees took to the stage to pray that the celebrant does not suffer the same fate in the hands of the government as they did.
“You will not be forgotten like us in Jesus name; you will be remembered the way God remembers his people and above all, he will bless you with far more than whatever the government will give you,” they prayed.
But the Lagos State Director of Education, District 4, Mr. Solomon Olawale Faleti, who was present at the event, told the reporter that the process of paying the entitlements of the aggrieved retirees is ongoing and has improved considerably under the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode.
He noted that the government has taken commendable steps to see to the improvement of the state’s education sector. Frowning at the incessant and impatient complaints of the retirees, he assured that the government has not forsaken them, urging them to exercise patience and wait for their turns.
Mrs. Omolara Lawal, ex-Director in District 4, Surulere, confessed that in her one year of retirement, she could only boast of a wall clock and a set of kitchen utensils from the government. According to her, there was no retirement gratuity and pension allowance.
“Retired officers can stay over three to four years without any response from the government, but it seems to be getting better and I believe that within the next six months to a year, I will finally be settled, I hope,” she said. “Well, it can be faster you know, that is if you know one or two people there, it is all about the connections really,” she disclosed.
Another retiree who prefers not to have his name mentioned, said a lot of people seize the opportunity to commit fraud by forging papers and submitting to the government, demanding pay for services they never provided.
He explained that the prolonged delay in the processing of retirement benefits was as a result of government’s meticulous screening of papers to weed out cheats and impostors. He, however, lamented that the process was taking an awfully long time.