Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde has commenced payment of N1.4 billion pension to retired local government staffs and primary school teachers in the state.
The chairman, through the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission, Remi Ayodele, who disclosed this to newsmen in Ibadan, said the money was earmarked by the state government to offset the inherited backlog of entitlements across the 33 local government areas.
The cheques were presented to no fewer than 700 beneficiaries drawn across all the local governments in the state as a flag off to what had been declared by the commission’s chairman, as a quarterly exercise.
Ayodele who also doubles as the chairman, Oyo State Local Government Service Pension Board, while addressing beneficiaries of the state government gesture, stated that it was sheer wickedness for any responsible government to deliberately deny retired workers of their rightful benefits after meritorious career in the civil service.
He added that governor Makinde’s interest in the welfare of retirees in the state was unwavering, as he gave a directive to the effect that gratuities and death benefits should henceforth be paid on a regular basis.
According to him, the state government’s commitment towards improving the quality of life of its workforce in the state is a top priority.
The former executive chairman of Ibadan North West Local Government Area said it was important to place it on record that it was the first time in the history of pension administration in the state that the governor had rolled out such huge amount of money twice in less than one year to offset huge backlog of retirees entitlements.
The chairman, Oyo State chapter of National Union Of Pensioners (NUP), Comrade Segun Abatan in his remark stated that retired workers have never had it this rosy in the state and prayed that the blood of all the deceased retirees call for vengeance from their tormentor.
He lauded governor Makinde for consistently meeting its financial obligations to its workforce as well as retirees, adding that the eight years of the last administration under former governor Abiola Ajimobi who had accesses to more funds as a governor than all other governors in the history of Oyo State was the most turbulent for all workers and retirees.
Abatan warned anyone from part of the country making any move to truncate the bliss of ease that currently pervades the state to have a rethink.
The representative of the chairman, Oyo State chapter of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Chuks Nwankwo in his remark maintained that governor Makinde was an answer to the special prayers of the state workers citing a bible reference that says “When the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice”.
He enjoined the governor not to derail from the path he is toeing.
Some beneficiaries who spoke with newsmen thanked the governor for fulfilling his campaign promises to the workers and retirees.
They, however vowed to continue to support governor Makinde against all forms of distractions aimed at destabilizing the present administration.