The governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has said that his administration has paid over N70 billion as gratuity and pension to retirees in the last three and a half years.
Prince Abiodun disclosed this at Ijebu-Ode during a Town Hall Meeting on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and 2023 Budget for Ogun East senatorial district; insisting that the quarterly payment for pensioners had been increased from N500 million to N600 million.
Taking a swipe at the previous government for failing to pay the retirees their entitlements, Abiodun said that the amount was huge, but his administration is doing the needful to ensure our retirees enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
He assured workers that their entitlements, ranging from global deductions, leave bonuses, among others, would be paid as the finances of the state improves.
The governor also disclosed that the state generated over N70 billion between January and September, 2022, as internal generated revenue, IGR, saying the various financial policies put in place by his administration and the influx of investors, have increase the internal revenue of the state.
Prince Abiodun said, “Some few days ago, someone sent me a video of an indigene of the state in Diaspora, who claimed that the IGR of the state is on the decline. I can tell you that as of today, Ogun State IGR from January to September is over N70 billion.
“Last year, our IGR was over 100 billion. So how can someone claimed that our IGR is declining? This claim is false.”
He said this year’s meeting, which is a continuation of previous ones, was the most important, as it is a transitional budget, adding that global best practices and financial engineering would be used to implement the budget that would continue to open up the state for more investments.
Informing that the state economy is on a sustainable mode, as all aspects have been touched, Prince Abiodun also announced that the ground breaking for the construction of the seaport at Olokola, would soon be done, just as plans have been concluded to extend the Lagos rail project from Okokomaiko to Agbara for easy movements.
Governor Abiodun used the occasion to enumerate some achievements recorded on infrastructure, health, education and agriculture, among which are the Ijebu-Ode-Epe, Oba Erinwole, Igan, Ilisan-Ago-Iwoye and market roads.
He therefore urged communities with deplorable roads to exercise patient, promising that attention would be given to major roads across the state, as finances improved.
On measures taken to improve power in the state, Prince Abiodun emphasized that attention would be focused on power generation, installation of solar light in major markets in the next financial year, while provision of potable water would also receive due attention.
He added that his administration has spent so much in the maintenance of peace in the state by equipping the security agencies with needed tools, calling on the people to eschew violence by living in peace with one another, as this would encourage more investors to come and invest in the state.
The governor noted that the meeting, apart from providing the people a unique opportunity to share their thoughts on their developmental needs, was a right venue for him to hear their views, contributions and remarks, adding that his administration was open to constructive criticism at all times.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okuboyejo, said that the meeting was to vigorously engage all stakeholders in the senatorial district to get their views that would form the basis for next year’s budget.