The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Ogun State has faulted Governor Dapo Abiodun’s claim that over N70billion had been released for the payment of gratuity arrears and pensions since he assumed office in 2019.
Abiodun spoke recently during the Town Hall Meeting on the 2023- 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and 2023 Budget for Ogun East Senatorial District, held in Ijebu-Ode, disclosed that over N70billion had been released for the payment of gratuity arrears since he assumed office in 2019.
But the Chairman of NUP, Waidi Oloyede, while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, faulted the governor’s claim, saying only N3billion had been paid for gratuity since Abiodun assumed office in May, 2019
Oloyede explained that the N3bn when calculated “could not pay gratuities of those who retired during his tenure i.e from June, 2019 till date.”
The NUP Chairman also expressed concern that the N100m increment to the N500m quarterly payment for gratuities was not enough as it would take more than 30 years to clear the backlog of gratuities.
He said, “It is very disheartening to note that his Excellency, Dapo Abiodun would make such statement to the whole world at that forum insinuating perhaps that the pensioners are being ungrateful to his acts of kindness at paying our monthly pensions which is not enough to feed most retirees talk less of taking care of the health challenges.
Oloyede noted that unlike Abiodun Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum had paid N15bn for gratuities in his first release, Governor Seyi Makinde paid N18.5bn, while Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto “cleared 20 years gratuities and pensions backlog.”
He said the governors like Abiodun all inherited the debt when assumed office.
Oloyede said, “How far will the N600m quarterly gratuity just announced will go? Many pensioners received the September, 2022 pensions on the 18th October, 2022, and do not know when that of October, 2022 will come. It has never been this bad in the history of Ogun State, whereas Governor Seyi Makinde pays pensions on the 25th of each month.
He called on Abiodun “to pay all our entitlements and effect consequential Adjustment of pensions, then he can extol himself before the whole world as a pensioner friendly governor.”