February 2, 2023

Pay our gratuities, harmonise pension — Pensioners tell Abiodun


By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

Members of the Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, have called on the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun to settle their outstanding gratuities, and as well harmonize their monthly pension.

The State LOGPAN Chairman, Benedict Ademoye, who made the call while addressing newsmen during the association’s thanksgiving programme held at the LOGPAN state secretariat in Abeokuta, said the amount of gratuity that is yet to be paid has accumulated to sixty-eight billion naira.

He lamented that the governor paid only N3 billion out of it.

Speaking on the N80 billion that was spent on the settlement of pensioners, by the governor, he said the money paid is different from the gratuity they are requesting for.

He said, “pension is constitutional, it is mandatory, pension is in the law. So any government that comes has to pay pension, and the figure the governor gave you is correct, yes, it’s just like when we are at work, and we are taking our salary.

“That one is constitutional, it is mandatory for the government to pay that one, but that’s aside from gratuity which has accumulated to N68 billion and the government has paid just about three billion out of it.

“The delegation of four, led by late chief Sikiru Ayilara, who is the association’s former chairman, met the governor on the 16th of August 2022, and of course, the governor acceded to our request. the governor promised that he will increase it as revenue increases.”

“Late Chief Ayilara asked for two billion naira every month, and this has to be merged with the revenue and capability, of course, to pay.

“But after that meeting, the quarterly release was increased to 600 million naira, 300 million naira for the state pensioner and another 300 million naira for the local government pensioners.

“We cannot be satisfied because N68 billion to N3 billion is not enough. We are placing our hope on his promise.”

He mentioned that government is yet to address the increment in the amount of quarterly release of fund for the payment of arrears of gratuity and harmonization of monthly pensions among others.

He said, “after the meeting with the government by late Ayilara, the governor acceded to all the request of LOGPAN and promised to take necessary action in respect of; increase in the amount of quarterly release of fund for the payment of arrears of gratuity, and harmonization of monthly pensions among others, but they have not.”

However, he said that there are progresses in achieving their aim, as he urged the state government not to relent, stating that he appreciated all their efforts.

He said, “considerable progress have been achieved. We shall not relent on our efforts until total victory is achieved. That is, settlement of all outstanding arrears of gratuities and harmonisation of monthly pensions. A new lease of life shall come upon the life of each and every LG pensioner in Ogun State.”

In the same vein, he appreciated the governor, as he also urged him to make pensioners in the state happy during his administration.

According to him, the association has been getting positive responses, hoping that “pensioners would laugh at the end.”

He said, “I respectfully call on His Excellency, Dr. Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR, the governor of Ogun State to please not relent in his current effort in seeing that pensioners in Ogun State in general and LG pensioners, in particular, have cause to rejoice during his time by seeing that the outstanding gratuities are paid and monthly pensions harmonized. I wish him, his family and Ogun State well.

“I’m hopeful that Pensioners would laugh and this gratuity would be paid.

“Unfortunately, we lost our leader, and this new executive came on board, on November 10th, which is about two and half months ago.

“Since that two and half months, we are not sitting idly, we have been Consulting with top government functionalities and government agencies that are relevant to our course.

“And until this moment, we’ve been getting positive responses. We know this time is a political something, but then we will not lose focus.”