The administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN in Ondo State has been commended for prioritizing the welfare of Pensioners by paying over #4 billion arrears of gratuity owed Pensioners by the immediate past administration in the state.
Members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Ondo State Chapter led by its Chairman Chief Raphael Adetuwo, who gave the commendation during a courtesy visit to the state Head of Service, Mr Dare Aragbaiye in his office in Akure, also affirmed that the state government has not defaulted in the monthly payment of pension to its members since the inauguration of the Akeredolu led administration in 2017.
Speaking on behalf of the Union, its Secretary, Comrade Akin Sunday appealed to the state government to commence the implementation of the approved 33% pension increase for Pensioners which their counterparts at the federal level have been enjoying since 2014.
Comrade Sunday equally enjoined the state government to increase the allocation for the payment of gratuity to Pensioners at both the state and local government levels in order to enhance prompt payment of gratuity to workers immediately after their retirement, lamenting that so many of the retirees have died before the payment of their gratuity.
In his response, the state Head of Service, Mr Dare Aragbaiye charged Pensioners to join hands with the state government to block all leakages of pension fund so as to alleviate the plight of their members in the state by exposing all their members that are still collecting the pension of the dead ones among them.
Mr Aragbaiye said members of the Union should desist from colluding with serving Officers of the government who are extorting money from other Pensioners for the purpose of facilitating payment of their gratuity, saying that the state government would no longer tolerate such corruption in the system.
He said “l know that when people are retiring they contribute money to give Officers to process their gratuity and pension, this is ungodly”
He charged the Union to lead the fight against the syndicate that collect 10% from their members to process their retirement papers and fast track payment of their gratuity, adding that the body should openly condemn and expose those behind the pains being experienced by Pensioners in the state.
The HOS assured them that the state government would open a channel through which members of the Union and other concerned members of the public could expose the corruption in the state pension administration.