…As NUP Honours Him With Pensioners’ Friendly Gov, Merit Award
Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has said that his administration would ensure that pensioners in the state would never be owed their pensions and gratuity.
This was just as Makinde also vowed that his administration would have offset the N56 billion accumulated gratuities past administrations owed pensioners before his tenure of office lapses.
Speaking at the Annual Conference of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, held at Abuja recently, where he was honoured by the NUP as the Pensioners’ Friendly Governor, and conferred with an Award of Excellence in Governance, Governor Makinde, who was represented by his Executive Assistant, Administration and General Services, Reverend Idowu Ogedengbe, appreciated the gesture of the NUP, insisting that the award was an encouragement to commit more to the welfare of pensioners in Oyo State.
Makinde said, “When we came in in May 2019, we promised the people to serve them with sincerity, probity and accountability; we promised to run a government of inclusiveness and we are very mindful to let the people know the challenges we were facing when we came into office, we had quite a huge liability of arrears; pensioners’ gratuity was amounting to about N56 billion and we did not want to give any excuse for non-performance.
“We decided to start off-setting these gratuities and as of today, we have paid out of that amount, N11.7 billion, which translates to an average of over N500 million naira every month. We desire to do more, because it is our firm belief as an administration that you do not muzzle the mouth of the horse that trashes the corn; our pensioners deserves the best; they have used their active years to to serve the state, now that they are out of service, we owe them the responsibility to ensure that they live a good life.
“Our desire is to ensure we clear all the backlog as soon as it is possible; and to ensure that we do not leave any outstanding gratuity to future administration.
“To date, we ensure that all our pensioners are paid on the 25th of every month, just like every other government worker in Oyo State civil and public service. When we came in, initially, a sum of N100 million was committed towards payment of pension monthly, we increased it to N180 million in June, 2019 and as at January 2021, it has been increased to N235 million monthly, we plan to do better.”
The award ceremony was chaired by former governor of Kano State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, who, while presenting the award, said that Governor Makinde has shown sincerity in leadership and was worthy of the honour from the pensioners.
Packaged by the national executive council of NUP, the award ceremony was attended by the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba and members of his executive, members of states’ executive councils of NUP, political office holders, among who was the Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Labour Matters, Comrade Titilayo Sodo.
Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary, Oyo State chapter of the NUP, Comrade Olusegun Abatan, said that the present administration in Oyo State has done enough to be celebrated as the friend of the pensioners in the state.
He called on his members to give their support to Makinde-led administration, so that the people would continue to benefit from dividends of democracy accruable from the programmes and policies of the state.