Pensioners in Ogun State on Tuesday demanded immediate payment of gratuities of State and Local Government retirees from 2014 and 2011 to date. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the state government pensioners are owed from 2014 while local government pensioners are owed from 2011.
The pensioners who protested around Abiola Way in Abeokuta, carried placards with inscriptions such as “Repeal the obnoxious pension bill now”, ”Mr Governor, please don’t deprive us our legitimate pension and gratuities”, “Severance to politicians are paid at exit”, ”Pay our gratuities now” among others.
Addressing journalists after the protest, Mr Waheed Oloyede, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners in the state, said that the proposal by government to release every quarter, the sum of N500 million from January 2021 for payment of gratuities was unacceptable. Oloyede explained that it would take 34 years to offset the outstanding N68 billion arrears owed the pensioners. He said that the pensioners were instead suggesting the release of N1 billion monthly by the government.
The chairman said that it was on record that about 134 months of contributory pension deductions were outstanding with the government, and he called for the immediate refund to the appropriate quarters.
Oloyede called for the immediate increment in pension, saying that it was disheartening that majority of pensioners were receiving as little as N5,000 monthly pension in the state. This is the reason we have been calling for pension review and increment in the state.
“We call on Gov. Dapo Abiodun to do the needful rather than allow himself to be used by sycophants to bring his government to disrepute. It is pertinent to call on the governor not to indulge in communication gap between the unions and government. Mr Governor refused to give us audience in spite of many appeals and emissaries,” he alleged.