Pension liabilities: We have paid N2.5bn so far – Gov Abiodun … Appeals to pensioners to sheath sword

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*Photo: Gov Abiodun *

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The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, at the weekend, assured pensioners in the state that payment of pensions will always receive priority attention within the resources available.

“As a follow-up to the promise made in 2021 to pay at least N500 million quarterly out of the outstanding gratuities owed by the previous administration since 2011, we have been religiously paying as at when due.

“The government has redeemed the pledge by making the Q1 2022 payment of N500m, thereby making a total of N2.5bn paid. Another one is due and there is nothing that will stop that for the second quarter of this year.

“If our predecessors had done the same since 2011, more than N16bn would have been defrayed”, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor,  Kunle Somorin,  said in Abeokuta.

He said that the payments were all inherited liabilities from previous administrations, adding also that the process of paying the gratuities cannot be faulted.

“Only last week, we inaugurated a Committee on Contributory Pensions Scheme Review and Consequential Pensions Adjustment to ensure improved welfare for the public, civil servants, and pensioners.

“This step is in fulfilment of the Memorandum of Action signed by the Ogun State Government and the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress”, he pointed out.

The statement urged leaders of the pensioners to be circumspect in their remarks on the state of their pension liability, especially, against an administration that prioritises their welfare.

While appreciating the pensioners for their patience and understanding,  Abiodun posited that his administration cannot pay all the pensioners owed before his assumption of office, in just three years.

While assuring that efforts would be made to put smiles on the faces of the retired workers, the governor, however, said he empathises and shares in the plights of the pensioners, submitting that his administration would continue to give their welfare and well-being priority.

The appeal by the Governor is coming on the heels of threats by pensioners in the State to embark on a protest.

The National Union of Pensioners, Ogun State Chapter, had issued a 14-day ultimatum to Governor Dapo Abiodun to meet their demands on 150 months of unremitted contributory pensions.

The pensioners also threatened to embark on an unprecedented protest if the governor fails to meet their demands within the 14 days.

The union disclosed this on Wednesday in an open letter addressed to the governor and signed by its chairman, Waheed Oloyede, and the Secretary, Bola Lawal.

While giving their reasons for the proposed protest, the pensioners lamented the failure to fulfill their demands which include; the failure to offset the outstanding gratuities of almost ten years among others.

The pensioners had in April 2022, the pensioners issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government to pay their 150 months of unremitted contributory pensions

The pensioners also organised a one-day prayer session to demystify and naturalise the “evil spirit” preventing the governor from paying their outstanding allowances.

The union maintained that the governor held a meeting with stakeholders to prevent their proposed strived to promise that their requests would be attended to before the end of May 2022, adding that it was all lies.

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