The Ondo State Government on Thursday began full payment of gratuity to pensioners, as the state governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa flagged-off disbursement of N1.2 billion as special intervention fund.
Speaking at the flag-off event, the governor said efforts were on to soon commence the payment for those who retired in 2015 and subsequent years.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Olugbenga Ale, the governor noted that his administration has set aside the sum of N230 million monthly for payment of gratuity to all categories of retirees in addition to the special intervention fund which is the proceed from deliberate savings from monthly allocation to the state purposely for clearing the backlog on year by year basis.
According to him, those who retired in 2012 and 2013 had been successfully cleared since the commencement of the special intervention initiative while 2015 and other successive years will follow in due course.
‘tt would be recalled that at the inception of this administration in 2017, we met arrears of seven months’ salaries for both Pensioners and Civil Servants. It is gladdening to let you know that six months out of the outstanding salaries and Pensions have been fully paid,’ Aiyedatiwa said.
‘ The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) can also testify to the fact that government has been releasing funds as special intervention to gradually defray the backlog of arrears of gratuity to the old retirees, with a view to ameliorating the hardship the retirees are facing with the present economic challenges in the country. Consequently, all year 2013 retirees at the state level have been fully paid, except those that have not been verified.’
‘It is to state that this special intervention is different from the consistent monthly allocation to the Pension Transitional Department for disbursement as appropriate. Without making much noise about it, a total of about N3.9Billion was disbursed in year 2023 to all categories of retirees (Parastatals inclusive) in Ondo State.’ The governor added.
Earlier in his remarks, the state Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele appreciated the governor for prioritizing the welfare of the senior citizens in the scheme of things.
According to him government had been paying between N2.4 billion and N3 billion yearly as gratuity to pensioners in the state, thanking Governor Aiyedatiwa for approving the payment of this particular N1.2 billion for the retirees just at the beginning of the new year.
He said government and the labour devised a way so that as they sit to agree on salary of workers and pension of the retirees, they also make some savings to gradually off set backlog of gratuity.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Temitayo Olofingoroye thanked Governor Aiyedatiwa for remembering the pensioners, saying the payment came to them as new year gift.
Office of the HoS