By HABEEBAT AJAYI
Ogun state Governor Dapo Abiodun has paid N500million to some state and local government retirees from last Administration.
While Presenting cheques to some of the retirees at Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the state Capital, governor Abiodun said he apologised on behalf of the past administration for the delay in the payment of the gratuities.
He had promised in an agreement signed between the government and labour leaders that the state government would be paying N500million quarterly as gratuities to the pensioners.
Abiodun noted that many of the payments were inherited liabilities from past government, assuring that the process of paying the gratuities had started and would definitely continue.
“This is a promise made and promise kept. I promise to do this on a quarterly basis.
“We are gradually getting out of the economics of COVID-19 and it is just reasonable that as we give other sectors of the economy due attention for their post COVID-19 sustainability, our elder statesmen and women also deserve due attention.
“Apart from the payment of monetary entitlements, let me also assure our elder statesmen and women that we are committed to providing other opportunities for them under our social welfare scheme.
” I enjoin our dear elders to take advantage of our Administration’s various social intervention programmes.
” For those of you who are into micro and small businesses, you can key into ‘Okowo Dapo’, a micro credit scheme that provides a window for women to access financial resources. It empowers our people to expand their micro and small businesses,” he said.
The governor urged the elders to continue in their support, cooperation and prayers not only for the successful implementation of government programmes but for the continued development of the tate.
“As retirees you have served Ogun state, you are an embodiment of wisdom and no responsible government will toy with its source of wisdom. We enjoin you to continue to put forward your contributions and elderly advice at all times,” he said.
Earlier, the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Waheed Oloyede, commended the governor for the gesture.
Oloyede, however, apealled to the governor to increase the gratuities payment to N1billion quarterly .