Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Friday said that his administration have spent N7.5 billion to settle the gratuities of pensioners in 18 months of his administration.
Makinde, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Labour Matters, Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo, disclosed this in Ibadan during the celebration of Pension Day organised by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo State branch.
The governor noted that pensioners in the state now received their monthly pension and other entitlements promptly more than ever before.
He said despite the unfavourable economic situation brought by COVID-19, his administration had continued to ensure prompt payment of gratuities of pensioners in the state.
Makinde however, assured the pensioners and other workers in the state that his administration would remain committed in the prompt payment of entitlements.
He called on the pensioners to continue to be hopeful as well as prayed for his administration for him to meet their expectations and demands.
Makinde said that the arrears of pension of retired primary school teachers which ranged from four to 50 months inherited by his administration were being attended to.
Earlier, the Secretary, Oyo State NUP, Olusegun Abatan, commended Makinde for prompt payment of pensioners’ monthly pension and arrears in the state.
Abatan alleged that in the past, pensioners in the state were denied their entitlements and their monthly pensions were also paid in percentages adding that now they were promptly paid.
He however, appealed for urgent payment of six and 15 per cent pension arrears and compensation allowances for workers forcefully retired in 2002 during former Gov Lam Adeshina’s tenure.
Abatan also called for the harmonisation of pension, saying pensioners that retired years back received as low as N1,000 per month which could not buy any reasonable item in this present time.
Also contributing, the Oyo State NUP Acting Chairman, Chief Isiaka Abimbola, said the lives of pensioners had changed for better and now living healthier due to prompt payment of pension.
Abimbola said the prompt payment of pension had also energised the economy of the state while their children and grandchildren at their various workplaces were at peace without much pressure on them.