Aiyedatiwa flags off disbursement of 1bn gratuity to LG retirees, promises prompt payment of monthly pension

By Precious Oluwole

The Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa on Tuesday, flagged off the Second Batch of the bulk payment of outstanding gratuity to pensioners of primary schools and Local Government Service in the State.

It would be recalled that few days ago, the Governor released 1 billion naira for the payment of gratuity

The Governor noted that in November 2023, the First Batch of this innovative bulk payment of outstanding gratuity of our former Local Government Staff and primary school teachers was carried out. Also, in January 2024, another flag-off of payment of one billion and two hundred million naira (N1.2b) was also performed right here for the year 2014 pensioners of the State Civil Service.

Governor Aiyedatiwa said “These payments altogether, provided a great relief for a large number of our senior citizens, thus serving as a motivation for us to decide on yet another batch within a few months. This particular batch will predominantly capture retirees of year 2012 while the leftover arrears of the preceding years will also be wholly settled”.

He added that the welfare of the retirees is not negotiable and his administration shall continue to ensure prompt payment of their monthly pension allowances and gratuities.

“We are emplacing a system that would ensure payment on the basis of year of exiting the public service. We have a sacred duty to ensure that pensioners are considered for payment of gratuity largely on verifiable criteria and indices that embrace equity, justice, fairness and good conscience”.

While congratulating the beneficiaries for the grace of being alive to personally collect their entitlements this day, the Governor admonished them to utilise their money judiciously while according their personal health and welfare topmost priority.

He encouraged pensioners who do not fall within this bracket to keep hope alive. “Our administration will not rest on its laurels as we owe a sacred duty to maximise the happiness and welfare of the greatest number of our people. It is at the core of our agenda that no senior citizen, who after a meritorious service to our dear State, should go to bed hungry”.

The Governor assured them that the payment of gratuity will not dislocate or replace the existing monthly releases to the Local Government Pension Transitional Department for the payment of gratuity to them. “Our government would rather explore avenues to strengthen and improve on the monthly releases for the overall benefit of our retirees. I urge you to continue to support our administration for a positive turnaround in the State finances because any improvement in government finances would translate into more interventions of this type and the emplacement of more people-friendly programmes and projects”.

Earlier in his address, the State commissioner for Local Government and chieftaincy affairs, Alhaji Amidu Takuro appreciated Governor Aiyedatiwa for approving the payment of gratuity.

He noted that the governor is committed to ensuring that retirees enjoy a better life after their service. Takuro mentioned that the governor tasked him with saving funds specifically to pay pensioners and highlighted the gratitude retirees have expressed towards the governor for his compassion and dedication to their welfare.

While congratulating the retirees on witnessing the payment of gratuity, he urged them to continue to support the Governor and pray for him.

He described the Governor as a kind hearted Governor who have passion for the people of the State, stressing that the State has witnessed a lot of development since he assumed duty as the Governor.

The Head of Service, Mr Bayo Philip stated that the function came from a godly mind, adding that the Governor has started well.

He noted that the payment of gratuity will give the retirees comfort, he also assured the Governor that the retirees would continue to pray for him.

Expressing his gratitude to the Governor, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr Jonshon Osunyemi noted that the payment will go a long way for the retirees as it has been long expected, he assured the Governor of the retiree’s support at the forthcoming election in the State.

Other retirees in their happy mood, sang songs to hail and appreciate the Governor, describing him as a fair, just and a man of his words and also had a prayer session for the Governor.

The event held at the Cocoa conference hall, Alagbaka Akure, had in attendance, The Deputy Governor, Dr. Olayide Adelami, Secretary to the State government, Hon. Tayo Oluwatuyi, Chief of Staff, Prince Segun Omojuwa, Head of Service, Mr Bayo Philip, State Chairman of SUBEB, Rt. Hon. Victor Olabimtan, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers.

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