By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Pensioners in Ogun State on Wednesday appealed to the State government through the State House of Assembly to intervene in their plight for the payment of the arrears of their gratuities.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr. Waheed Oloyede, made the call while, speaking during a courtesy call on the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, at the Assembly complex in Abeokuta, Mr Waheed Oloyede.
Oloyede explained that the pensioners demanded payment of gratuities for state retirees from 2014 to date and local government retirees from September, 2011 to date.
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While stating that the state government had agreed to make a quarterly release of N500million from January, 2021, the Chairman noted that the proposal would take 34 years to offset the outstanding N68 billion arrears, suggesting that N1billion monthly release by the government would enable a sizeable population collect in good time.
He also stressed that it was on record that 134 months of unremited Contributory Pension deductions were outstanding with the government, calling for immediate refund to the affected retirees.
The NUP chairman also demanded for conversation review / increase in pension in consonance with the provisions of section 210 (3) of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
He appealed to the speaker to use his good office to talk to the executive in order to offset all the outstandings.
Responding, the Speaker assured the pensioners of the assembly’s renewed commitment to the welfare of the elderly and the physically challenged, saying the Assembly was putting together a bill that would create new departments meant to address issues relating to their welfare.
Oluomo assured that the 9th legislature would continue to engage the government towards ensuring the payment of their outstanding gratuities as soon as government received the bond approved by the assembly.
He seized the opportunity to clarify that in line with the Assembly’s parley with the Labour Union in the state, the controversial labour bill had been suspended, while the old law remained operational.