We’ve Paid N1.2bn Gratuities to LG, Pry school Retirees, Says Oyebanji

Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, on Tuesday, March 26, said his administration has paid N1.2bn gratuity to retired local government workers and primary school teachers.

The governor spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, while disbursing 250m gratuities cheques to 114 retired local government workers and primary school teachers in the state.

Oyebanji said he shared the pains of the retirees waiting for too long before being handed their gratuities, assuring that with the increase in the monthly payment of monthly gratuity from N50mn to N100m, many pensioners would soon be captured.

He said: “It is important to place on record that we have paid N1.2billion as gratuities to 377 retired council workers and primary school teachers since the beginning of this administration. Our target is to get everyone covered; and with God on our side, we will not rest on our oars until it is achieved. Rest should, indeed be sweet after labour.

“As regards the March to September 2018 arrears of your pensions, we are closing in on settling them. We have so far cleared three out of seven months. I am assuring you that the remaining four will soon be cleared.”

The governor urged the beneficiaries not to expend the gratuities on inanities that won’t have a positive impact on their lives, saying they should focus on those things that would add value to their welfare and well-being to compensate for the long period of waiting.

The chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Ekiti State chapter, Joel Akinola, commended Oyebanji for clearing the salary arrears of state civil servants and pensioners, exuding confidence that this would be extended to the local government and primary school teachers.

Akinola, who urged those yet to be paid not to despair, appealed to retirees to embrace the various free health services designed for pensioners by the current administration, saying this was a way of elongating their life expectancy and putting their health in proper shape.

“Our members have passed through the valley of the shadow of death. I have never seen any state where the governor released cheques to pensioners every month for gratuity payments. This gives us a lot of hope. We especially thank the governor for his concern about us”, he added.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Modupe Akinyemi described the present administration as ‘God-sent’ to retirees in the state.

She added that the senior citizens had never had it so good because they were being placed on first-line charge by the present administration.