Abeokuta – The Nigeria Union Pensioners (NUP), Ogun State chapter says the state government is owing its members N64.4billion arrears of gratuity.
The union disclosed this recently while addressing journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State.
It appealed to the state government to increase the quarterly payment of gratuity to its members to N2billion, saying that the current N500million quarterly payment by Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration was not enough to offset the outstanding gratuity of civil servants that retired from May , 2019 till date.
The state Chairman of NUP, Waidi Oloyede who spoke on behalf of the pensioners, described the Contributory Pensions Scheme Review and Consequential Pensions Adjustment Committee set up to address the demands of workers and pensioners in the state as a ruse.
He also alleged that there was a calculated ploy to frustrate the legitimate demands, discredit the NUP leadership and also build mistrust in the rank and file of the union.
The pensioners berated the governor over his failure to implement the agreements signed with them in the Memorandum of Action (MOA) over four months ago.
Thye also cautioned Governor Abiodun over delay in offsetting the arrears saying ‘nobody deprived the elderly the ‘walking stick’ without attendant repercussion.’
The pensioners faulted the claim of the Abiodun – led administration of paying N3.6billion out of the inherited outstanding N68bllion for the past three and a half years.
According to Oloyede, the government has agreed to implement the consequential adjustment of pensions as approved by the Federal Government in 2019 which mandated statutory increase in pension.
He lamented that some pensioners still earn the paltry sum of N5,000 monthly as pension.
He said, the government also agreed to increase the quarterly release of N500m gratuities and ensure prompt payment of pension.
Oloyede also lamented the delay in the release of the fourth quarter release of 2022 gratuity.
“It is unimaginable to state that a total sum of N3.6billion has so far been paid as gratuities by the Ogun state government over three and half years ago; a sum which is not enough to defray gratuity of retirees from June , 2019 to date being the tenure of the governor Dapo Abiodun administration.
“It is our candid belief that given the realities of the increase in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of our state as openly admitted by His Excellency in recent times, we strongly believe that a quarterly release of N2billion will marginally go a long way to offset the backlog of unpaid gratuities.
“Pensioners are dying in droves on a daily basis for lack of good healthcare that require ample financial redemption and expected pensions for the 25th of each month as it used to be in the Ogun State of previous administrations
“This seems a government of deceit to the senior citizens since life is now very unbearable for the pensioners in Ogun State.
“No one deprives the elderly of their ‘walking sticks’ without its attendant repercussions.
“We are hereby calling on the Ogun State Government led by Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun to have a change of heart in the way the elderly that have toiled hard in their hay-days to keep the state on a sound footing are now being treated.
“There is a sincere need for the government to regularly pay substantial amount to offset the backlog of gratuities.
“While the pensioners eagerly await required Consequential Increase in pensions to meet with the present economic situations of the nation as well as regular payment of Pensions by the 25th of each month as of previous administrations,” he said.
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