Pensioners in Ogun on Wednesday took their plight over unpaid gratuities to the state House of Assembly, urging it to prevail on the state government to pay them.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr Waheed Oloyede, sought the assembly’s intervention in the matter, when he led other members of the group on a courtesy visit to the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, at the assembly complex in Abeokuta.
Oloyede said the pensioners were demanding the immediate payment of gratuities for state and local government retirees, from 2014 and 2011, respectively, to date.
He said the state government had agreed to make a quarterly release of N500 million from Jan. 2021.
He, however, said the plan was unacceptable to the union because it would take 34 years to offset the outstanding N68 billion arrears.
The union, therefore, recommended a N1billion monthly release in order to enable a sizeable number of its members to collect theirs in good time.
It alleged that the state had yet to remit members’ Contributory Pensions Deductions for 134 months and demanded the immediate refund of the deductions to the affected retirees.
It also demanded for a convertion review and increment in their pension, in consonance with Section 210 (3) of the Constitution.
The NUP chairman appealed to the speaker to use his good offices to talk to the executive to initiate measures to offset all the outstandings accruable to the retirees.
Responding, the speaker assured them of the assembly’s commitment to the welfare of the elderly and physically challenged persons in the state.
He said the assembly would soon pass a bill to create new departments that would address issues concerning pensioners’ welfare.
Oluomo further assured them that the assembly would engage the government to pay the outstanding gratuities as soon as it received the bond approved by the assembly.
He said that the controversial labour bill had been suspended by the house, while the old law remained operational, in line with its agreement with the organised labour in the state. (NAN)