Ogun pensioners besiege governor’s office over unpaid gratuities

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Scores of local government pensioners in Ogun State on Thursday besieged the Oke Mosan, Abeokuta office of the state governor over what they termed backlogs of unpaid gratuities and pension.

They, however could not gain access into the state secretariat as security men at the gate quickly closed the gate against them.

This action infuriated the senior citizens who engaged the security men in hot verbal exchanges.

The correspondent of this medium could see some operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps having a verbal exchanges with the pensioners.

The Chairman of the pensioners, Chief Sikiru Ayilara while speaking with journalists said that they had brought their luggage and their beds to sleep till the governor answered their demands.

He added that that they were tired of repeated promises from the government.

Ayilara alleged that the pensioners had written no fewer than 10 letters through many channels to the governor to seek for audience without getting neither acknowledgement nor response.

They however demanded that their 10 years outstanding gratuities to be fully paid within 24 months and not 34 years of agreement reached with organised labour without their knowledge.

They equally rejected the payment of the N68billion 10 years outstanding gratuities at N500m quarterly which they claimed the payment would  last for 34 years.

The pensioners also demanded Immediate implementation of the provisions of the circular on 33.4 per cent increase in pension issued in 2014 which other neighbouring states had long paid.

Meanwhile, the state governor while holding meeting later with the aggrieved pensioners said his administration was committed to paying workers’ emoluments, as government was determined to make prompt payment of gratuities and monthly pensions. 

The governor who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi,  added that his government was putting in place necessary modalities that would ensure pensioners get their dues as and when due.

The Governor explained that N68billion gratuity was inherited from the immediate past administration, saying despite that, the present government had made commitment to pay N500 million on quarterly basis.

Abiodun noted that the pensioners have made their disposition on payment of gratuity known to the government, assuring that the current administration would not renege on its promises to their welfare, as “it is always best to dialogue, we have genuine commitment with our pensioners”.

The State helmsman who later invited the executives of the association for immediate dialogue, said they would not be deprived of their entitlement, stressing that government would stand by its words and do the needful very soon.

Also present at the meeting were, the Head of Service, Alhaja Selmot Ottun, Chief of Staff, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu, Accountant-General/Permanent Secretary (Treasury), Mr. Michael Idowu, among other government dignitaries.

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