Sunday, May 5, 2019 4:49 pm
The Oyo State Pensioners have alleged that the outgoing government of Oyo State led by Governor Abiola Ajimobi owes them a total sum of N62.5b, lamenting that the state government could owe them such huge amount of money.
Disclosing this to the newsmen during the weekend, Oyo State Secretary of retired Primary school teachers, Comrade Tunji Ogunwale and Secretary Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Comrade Segun Abatan stated that unpaid pensions and gratuities to retired primary school teachers and civil servants has made it difficult for retirees in the state to rest after labour.
Comrade Abatan condemned the political office holders for awarding themselves life pensions after serving for four years, adding that such act amounts to cheating and exploitation of the common patrimony by the political class to do nothing for the people yet enjoying life pensions.
Stressing that the pension being enjoyed by the political office holders is killing the nation, the labour scribe said, “It is workers today, pensioners tomorrow. How can somebody serve for four years and continue to take life pension? If that is it then we want to propose that workers should also serve for four years, get out and take their pension for life. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Let us see if the economy of this country is going to sustain it”.
On unpaid arrears of pension by the outgoing Ajimobi government, the duo said pensioners are owed between eight to sixty months saying that it is ridiculous that some pensioners are receiving as low as N2000 as pension in the state.
The secretary of retired primary school teachers avers “today Oyo State government owes us 62.5billion naira. That is the amount of gratuities left unpaid. I am personally being owed thirty-five months pension arrears. They owe some of us sixty months, some fifty-five and some of us forty months. It varies from eight to sixty months. He has never paid anybody gratuity since eight years ago. If we had not gone to court that means he would not have deemed it fit to pay a dime for eight years”.
Pointing out that N1.5b currently set aside for pensioners and being currently paid is grossly insufficient, Abatan said, “The government has started paying about 1.5billion naira as kick-start even though we know it has not scratched the surface. You owe somebody 60billion and you released 1.5billion. How many years will it take you to vacate the remaining humongous debt? The Union has taken government to court. As I speak with you we have pensioners in Oyo state that still earn two thousand naira per month.”