Ekiti State Government has commenced the monthly payment of N100 million as gratuity to its retirees in a bid to off set the huge outstanding pension entitlements against the State.
The State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the event to mark the commencement of the exercise, on Monday May 6 2019, distributed cheques totaling N100 million to some retirees in the State. It was disclosed that about 88 pensioners are expected to benefit from the monthly release of N100 million.
The Governor said that the N100 million will be released on monthly basis going forward for the payment of entitlements to retirees and he is aware that the monthly release of N100 million to payoff approximately N12 Billion debt would only cater for a small number of the retirees on a monthly basis, adding that his administration is considering various options to liquidate the huge debt “in no distant time”.
The Ekiti state Governor who acknowledged the contributions of the retirees to the development of the State promised to alleviate the sufferings of the senior citizens by making regular payment of their benefits a top priority. He, however, expressed regret that some of the retirees had died while waiting for their entitlements.
The Governor said, “I feel your pulse, I know your plights and I am ready to alleviate your sufferings by making regular payment of your benefits a top priority. It is a fact that you have toiled for the development of the State. So you should not be subjected to hardship in any form. I assure you that within the available resources, your entitlements will be paid as and when due”.
The Governor also said the monthly release of N100 million is a demonstration of his commitment to ensuring that those who had used their productive years to serve the State have maximum enjoyment in their post-retirement years.
Before now, only N10 Million was released on monthly basis for the payment of pension entitlements to retirees in the State. Ekiti State indebtedness for pension entitlements is around N12 billion, with the last administration paying only N10 million monthly, it would have taken the State government 100 years to clear the backlog. Governor Fayemi acknowledged that the N100 million now being released is a temporary solution while the State government looks for creative approach to resolve the huge outstanding gratuity obligations of the state.
The State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) Elder Ayo Kumapayi thanked the governor for increasing the monthly gratuity from N10 million to N100 million, saying the gesture has renewed hope that pensioners will receive their pension entitlements.
Kumapayi said “we pensioners have been suffering before but you gave us hope. When you were campaigning, you made some promises to us and today you have shown that you are a promise keeper. When we approached you that we wanted to be paid pension at the same time the active workers are paid and the subsequent month, it happened. During the last administration, nobody knew when pension would be paid but now, my people can relax and expect their pension at month end. Indeed, you are pensioners friend”.