Ogun pensioners kick over N68bn gratuity

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Pensioners in Ogun State Wednesday shut down the Ogun State secretariat  ptotesting the non-payment of N68 billion outstanding gratuity.

The members of Local Government Pensioners Association blocked the two main gates of the secretariat, at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, locking out the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi and other civil servants for over four hours.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions : “gratuities are on sales to pensioners”, “Governor Dapo Abiodun, honour your father and treat Pensioners well” and “Governor Abiodun we don’t deserve this worst humiliation”, among others.

In June, members of association had staged a protest to express their grievances.

State Chairman of the association, Sikiru Ayilara lamented the alleged inhuman treatments being meted to them by the government, accused the governor of failing to keep his promises and alleged that some of them still earn a measly N3,000 as monthly allowance.

Ayilara described the quarterly payment of N500 million by the governor as “a wicked act”, which is unacceptable and

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He called for the review of the policy by voting N1billion monthly instead of payment of N500m to clear arrears.

Ayilara said the association had written 13 letters to the governor seeking audience “but the governor has remained recalcitrant and unyielding to their demands”.

He listed some of their grievances as non-payment of gratuities, lateness of pension payment, non-increment in the monthly pensions and discrimination against the members of the association by the government among others.

Ayilara insisted that, it is illegal for the state government to be paying their pension through the Ministry of Finance instead of the Bureau of Local government pensions.

SSG Talabi appealed to the pensioners to be more patient with the government, saying “the government is currently experiencing hard times” and  assured them that the government would look into the demands of the pensioners.