Pensioners in Ogun State yesterday appealed to the State House of Assembly to intervene in prompt payment of their gratuities. Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in the state, Mr.Waheed Oloyede disclosed that pensioners in the state were being owed N68billion arrears of gratuities from 2014 to date. He added that the state government also owed Local Government retirees gratuities from September 2011 to date. Oloyede disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, at the Assembly’s complex in Abeokuta, the state capital. Oloyede explained that the state government had agreed to make a quarterly release of N500million from January 2021.
This, he said would take the state 34 years to offset the outstanding N68billion arrears. However, he suggested that N1billion be released on monthly basis to enable a sizeable population of the retirees collect gratuities in good time while lamenting non-remittance of 134 months of Contributory Pension Deductions by the government, calling for immediate refund to the affected retirees.
Responding, Speaker Oluomo assured the pen-sioners 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. According to Oluomo, the 9th Legislature would continue to engage the government towards ensuring payment of their outstanding gratuities as soon as government received the bond approved by the Assembly. He, however, seized an 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 as the old law would remain operational.