In light of the welfare packages he has disbursed to pensioners in Oyo state, Governor ’Seyi Makinde has been honored as a Pensioners’ Friendly Governor and conferred with an Award of Excellence in Governance.
The governor’s Executive Assistant, Administration and General Services, Reverend Idowu Ogedengbe, who represented his principal at the Annual Conference of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) held at Abuja, stated that this administration would ensure that pensioners in the State would continue to be paid their pensions and gratuity promptly.
He also relayed the governor’s promise that his administration would offset the #56billion accumulated gratuities the past administration owed pensioners before his tenure of office lapses.
In his words, “When we came into administration 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 #56billion 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, #11.7billion, which translates to an average of over #500million 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 trash the corn, our pensioners deserves the best, they have used their active years 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 #100million was committed towards payment of pension monthly, we increased it to #180million in June 2019 and as at January 2021, it has been increased to #235million monthly, we plan to do better.”
The Chairman of the occasion, former Kano State governor, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, while presenting the award, declared that governor Makinde has shown sincerity in leadership and was worthy of the honour from the pensioners.
In his own remarks, the Secretary, Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Comrade Olusegun Abatan revealed that the present administration in Oyo State has done enough to be distinguished as a friend of pensioners in the State.
He then called on his fellow NUP members to fully support Engr. Seyi Makinde’s administration so that the masses would continue to benefit from the Policies and packages of the government.
Also present at the event were: Ayuba Wabba and other executive members, State executive members of the NUP, and the Special Adviser to governor Seyi Makinde on Labour Matters, Comrade Titilayo Sodo etc.