By Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government on Friday hinted that its considering alternative financial instrument to pay the N16.2 billion pension and gratuity arrears owed by the state government.
The Executive Council considered and approved a Memorandum by Governor Kayode Fayemi as presented by the Special Adviser, Investments, Trade, and Innovations, Mr. Kayode Oyebode proposing alternative financial instruments to help speed up payment of the debt at its virtual meeting held on Thursday.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Muyiwa Olumilua, on Friday, said the state is presently owed a sum of N13.5b unpaid gratuities and N2.7b outstanding pensions.
The statement said: “Council noted that in spite of the government increasing gratuity payments by 900%, from N10 million paid by the previous administration to N100 million monthly, the possibility of some of the retirees receiving their gratuities during their lifetime seemed very remote
“Hence the need to explore other viable options, to reduce the waiting time for the retirees and pay up as much as 50 percent of the outstanding on or before the end of this administration in 2022.
The Council’s approval of the voluntary alternative payment instrument is premised on Governor Kayode Fayemi’s conviction that every worker is worthy of their wages during their lifetime.
“Details of the instrument will be made public in due course”, he said.
The Commissioner added that the Executive Council also approved the Memorandum on the review of the Laws of Ekiti State (2012) as presented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. Ekiti State inaugurated its own laws in 2012, with the publication of the 1st Edition of the Laws of Ekiti State in five volumes.
“The provisions in the five volumes were last updated in 2009, and some the laws have since become obsolete, or repealed.
“Laws passed by the Ekiti House of Assembly since 2012 till date, are not included in the mentioned five volumes of the first edition.
“The reviewed laws are to be presented to the Ekiti State House of Assembly for legislative processing, and subsequent passage into law”, the statement said