By: Ade Adeleke
Workers and pensioners in Ondo State will start smiling to bank as from tomorrow wednesday as the state government will start paying arrears of salaries and pension.
The state government is owing workers and retirees about six months pay, but Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu today announced that workers would start receiving their pay in the next 24hours which will be about 135%.
Akeredolu who disclosed this during this year’s Pensioners’ Day Celebration in Akure today, explained that about more than two months outstanding salaries would be settled by the government before the end of this month to enable workers and retirees have a memorable Christmas and new year celebrations.
The governor who was represented by the state Head of Service, Pastor Adeniran Adeyemo, assured that he would use the bailout disbursing by the Federal Government to pay salaries and pensions.During Pensioners’ Day
Reacting to the request of the pensioners for online verification mode, the governor said the infractions discovered prompted the verification exercise and government would consider the request in the future.
According to Akeredolu, some workers were collecting double salaries, while some falsified their documents.
The governor said “Payment of N7.2billion released up to date for the part payment of backlogs of unpaid gratuity inherited in 2017,
“Opening of Pensioners Portal, First in the annals of Pension Administration in Ondo State Public Service to update pensioners’ records,” he noted.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Ondo State, Comrade Johnson Osunyemi, appealed to the state government to defray the backlog of unpaid pension and gratuities from 2011 for local government pensioners and 2013 for the state pensioners.
Likewise, the pensioners’ Chairman sought payment of of monthly pensions eight and six and a half months for the state and local government pensioners respectively.
Osunyemi called for the implementation of the consequential pension increase arising from the 2019 minimum wage increase and salary adjustment.
The NUP boss said, “Our appreciation goes to our amiable, conscientious and God-fearing Governor, Arakunrin Odunayo Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) for being the first Governor in the South West to implement the 33% pension increase in 2020.
“Paying arrears of our monthly pensions of 8 and 6/half months for the State and Local Governments’ pensioners respectively .
“Implementing the consequential pension increase arising from the 2019 minimum wage increase and consequential salary adjustment.
“Paying arrears of 15% pension harmonization to Local Government pensioners which has been paid to State Pensioners since 2012 but are yet to be paid to Local Government Pensioners,” the NUP Chairman said.
Afenifere chieftain, Pa Seinde Arogbofa, who represented foremost Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, at the event, said: “I know there are problems, but we appreciate the governor for providing security in the state. I want to appeal to the governor to do all within his power to make pensioners happy.”
Mrs. Bosede Daramola, a former NLC chairperson, expressed optimism that the state government would pay them, charging the state government to redesigned the pension suystem to allow them receive their pensions promptly.
The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), in the state, Comrade Sunday Adeleye assured the pensioners the Congress was working on ensuring salaries and pensions are paid as and when due through interface with government.
It was also gathered that about three months salary and pension arrears would be paid by the state government before the end of this December in two tranches.