Ogun State Government has released N500million to offset backlog of gratuities and pensions of retirees in the civil and local government services in the state. Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday while distributing the cheques to some retirees at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, said the event was a demonstration of his administration’s determination to fulfil its promises to all workers, particularly the elderly.
He said, “I assure you of a process for our pensioners. Though these payments are inherited liabilities from past governments, I assure you that the process of paying these gratuities has started and will definitely continue on a quarterly basis”.
“I enjoin our elders to take advantage of our administration’s social intervention programmes. For those of you who are into micro and small businesses, you can key into Oko-Owo Dapo, a micro credit scheme that provides a window for women to access financial resources. It empowers our people to expand their micro and small businesses.”
“In the same vein, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we have inaugurated the Anchor Borrowers Scheme on Agriculture. Under this scheme, our people, including our pensioners, can turn to agric entrepreneurship as a way of life and living. Under the scheme, participants will be provided with land, which will be cleared for them. Improved seedling and extension services will also be provided for them. In addition, off takers, that is, the Anchors, will be sourced for their produce at agreed prices that are known to all at the time of planting, thereby guaranteeing price stability and adequate reward for effort. In fact, CBN will pay stipends to the farmers pending the harvest and sale of their produce”.
The Permanent Secretary of the Bureau of State Pension, Mr. Olukunle Sodeinde, disclosed that the N500million released is for payment of outstanding pension entitlements to the state and local government retirees owed by past governments, adding that gratuity would be paid to those scheduled for January 2014 and part local government retirees of 2011.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Ogun State chapter, Mr. Waheed Oloyede, requested that the amount should be increased from N500million to N1billion.
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