Fayemi Signs Social Security Bill To Law As Beneficiaries Hits 20,000

March 18, 2012

L-R: Clerk, Ekiti State House of Assembly (ESHA), Mr. Tunde Famoyegun; State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka; Governor Kayode Fayemi; Speaker, ESHA, Dr. Adewale Omirin, during the signing into Law of the Social Security Scheme for the Elderly, in Ado-Ekiti... on Friday.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Friday signed the Social Security bill into law, even as he restated that the decision of his administration to take care of the elderly citizens was borne out of genuine concern for their welfare in view of the harsh economic condition in the country.

The state’s social security scheme, which entitles indigent elderly citizens in the state to a monthly  N5,000 stipend, according to the Governor is not a vote-catching gimmick as being insinuated in some quarters.

The Governor while signing the law at the Executive Council Chambers, Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, said it was important to have legal backing for the scheme which started about six months ago in order to ensure its sustainability.

It is recalled that the Ekiti State’s social security programme, which is the first in Nigeria and West Africa, was announced by the Governor on 1st October 2011. Payment of the N5,000 monthly stipends to the elderly citizens commenced in the sixteen local government areas of the state on 25th of the same month.

Fayemi who lauded the effective coordination of the scheme, which has led an increase in the number of beneficiaries from 10,“To some skeptics at the time, this was just a vote catching gimmick of a typical opportunistic and desperate politician. Even to genuine admirers, the realization of this dream was unfathomable given the limited resources available to our State. Now that the goal is realized, it is the beginning of the fulfillment of our campaign promise to provide for our elderly in their old age,” he said.

Fayemi said his administration has embarked on this programme not only to make the state stand shoulders higher than other states but also to ensure that life becomes “more abundant for our elderly”, adding that the State has become a pioneer for the initiative which the Federal Government and others States are now taking cue from 10,084 at inception in October last year to 20,000.

He said: “It is noteworthy that a number of States as well as the Federal Government have shown  keen interest in this scheme and we are glad to have pioneered this initiative. The question my colleagues always ask at the Governors’ forum is how we manage to do all this given our 35th position on the revenue table in the Federation Account.”

Earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, had said that the bill was not an accident but an effort to enable the Dr. Fayemi-led administration fulfill his campaign promise to the aged by providing incentive for good living and enable them contribute their quota to the development of the state.

“We are here today making history as the first state in the whole of West Africa to design a social security system for the aged as a moral challenge to take care of our senior citizens. We know the critical roles they play in our lives and the society at large. We must always emphasise custom and history as part of the components of social engineering mechanism for development .It is our custom to take care of our aged.”

The Speaker added that the commencement of the programme by the Fayemi-led administration has challenged the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government, which never had social security scheme as its campaign agenda, but has now begun a process of having a national social security scheme.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Labour, Productivity and Human Capital Development, Mr Wole Adewumi said the monthly stipend of N5,000 has been paid to a total of 10,084 beneficiaries since October while the state government has commenced another round of registration exercise to update the database and increase the number of  beneficiaries to 20,000.

Governor Fayemi  had, on 25th October last year when payment began, assured that government would put in motion the process of drafting a legislation to back  the initiative and ensure its sustainability over long term.


Last modified: March 18, 2012

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