Over non-payment of pension, gratuity arrears
By Dayo Johnson
Akure — Pensioners in Ondo state are poised for a showdown with the state government over non-payment of their gratuities and pension arrears running into billions of naira.
Consequently, they have given the state government four days to pay them or face their wrath.
Rising from a meeting in Akure, the pensioners, who are civil service, teaching service and local government retirees said the ultimatum became necessary as all entreaties made to the government have not yielded any result.
The Secretary of Akure Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Funso Odere while addressing newsmen said none of them who retired since 2011 has received any gratuity.
Odere said the total indebtedness of the state government to the pensioners in term of gratuity aside the monthly pension is about N15 billion.
According to him “Certain amount of money is being deducted from our monthly pension which is illegal.
“They said the money is being paid to the consultant in charge of remittance. It is the state government that should pay the consultant and not the pensioners.
“They should stop this illegal deductions and pay us back those money that were deducted from our monthly pension.’’
Odere said since the bailout received from federal government is not meant for the payment of pensioners, the government should raise fund from other sources to pay them instead of allowing them to die.’’
Meantime, Governor Olusegun Mimiko has reacted to the pensioners ultimatum.
Speaking in Owo during a town hall meeting, he said that approval has been given by him that all outstanding pensions be paid till August. He pleaded with the pensioners to bear with government as the allocation from the Federation account has not been able to pay workers salaries on monthly basis.