By Lanre Adesanya
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has reiterated poise to ensure timely payment of death and permanent disability accruals to kinsmen of any deceased employees of the state.
Ambode who spoke through the Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Education District 1, Dr (Mrs) Olufolayimika Ayandele, at the “Sensitisation Programme for Beneficiaries of Deceased Staff of Education 1, Agege (Y2016)” stressed the resolve of the government to take the welfare of its workforce seriously whether dead or incapacitated.
“Insurance benefits is one of the programmes that all the employees must be aware of. They need to know how to access it whether dead or alive.
“The welfare of workers is paramount to the governor. This is a mandate of the Lagos State Government that we should sensitize our people so that they can access the benefits accruable to their loved ones who died in active service.
“The government has done a lot to improve the health condition of workers, it is left for them to avail themselves of the available opportunities.
“We want everybody alive, so more efforts is being put into ensuring healthy workforce., peradventure, nature takes it course, hope is not lost.
“Even while dead, family members of the deceased employees enjoyed the benefits of their loved ones and the state government is ready to ensure this.”
The governor said that next-of-kins could access death benefits as well as benefits accruable to workers with permanent disabilities in 30 work days, once necessary documentations were afforded.
Ambode, who empathised with the families of the deceased workers,affirmed that the departed had rendered meritorious service to the state.
Explaining how kinsmen could access the benefits, Mr. Tunde Sanda General Manager Cosmic Insurance Broker said beneficiaries’ early notification of the death and documentation would aid speedy access of the benefits.
Sanda said that beneficiaries would need the National Population Commission’s death certificate and medical cause of death reports among some other things to ease access to the benefits.
Mr Bode Akintunde, Director, Lagos State Ministry of Finance lauded efforts of the government, saying that the government had appointed brokers to facilitate early claim of benefits.
Akintunde, who represented the Commissioner of Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, urged kinsmen of deceased employee to cultivate habits of early report of death starting from the primary point of duty of the deceased .
Mr Segun Osifeko, Director, Admin and Human Resources in the district, said that the beneficiaries should assist the government, lamenting the fact that many had died four or five years without anybody coming to claim benefits that accrues to them.
Osifeko, who urged the people to stop blaming the government, said that the government had assigned 15 insurance brokers to the district alone for easy accessibility.
Mr Ojo Samuel, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, commended the government for the initiative, stressing that it would reduce difficulties faced by kinsmen of dead colleagues in accessing death benefits.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Rahmon Anifowose commended the government for its interests in the families of dead workers of the state.
Husband of one of deacesed staff,Mr.Shola Kupoluyi stated that the sensitisation exercise will largely face-out hurdles encountered by the next-of-kin while trying to access benefits of their loved ones.
Kupoluyi noted that, “This is a new beginning. We thank God for everything, It is the first time government is remembering the dead.”
Another deceased employee’s son, Mr Olawale Olatubi a medical practitioner harps on the uniqueness of the gesture,noting that it is apt.
He said,” This is a very nice initiative, this kind of sensitisation is unprecedented, I will however like to advise government to do more in the facilitation of health tips that can help its workforce take their health condition seriously .”
” My mum was ignorant of her health status and before long she fell for it, I urge government to help in this area by partnering medical health consultants, who can afford their staffers with their health status report periodically to reduce the death toll. Said Olatubi.
It will be recalled that the district recorded 26 death of employees in 2015 recorded 18 in 2016.
A token was given to the beneficiaries of the 18 deceased employees recorded in 2016 to aid mobility in the course of facilitating the benefits .