Thursday, September 23, 2021 3:38 pm
Pensioners in Ogun State, under the aegis of Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPAN) blocked the two main gates leading to the secretariat, in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, locking out the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, top government appointees and other civil servants for over four hours on Wednesday.
The protesters were armed with placards with inscriptions such as “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.
Addressing journalists, the State Chairman of LOGPAN, Sikiru Ayilara lamented the alleged inhuman treatments being meted to them by Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration.
He accused Abiodun of failing to keep his promises to the pensioners, lamenting that, some of them still earn paltry sum of N3, 000 as monthly pension.
Ayilara described the quarterly payment of N500 million by the governor, which according to him, would take 34 years to clear all the gratuities as “a wicked act” which is unacceptable.
The state government and joint Labour Union Committee of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the State government will pay N500 million quarterly to offset the outstanding gratuities and pensions.
But Ayilara called for the review of the policy with the increase of the monthly allocation to N1billion monthly.
Addressing the protesters, the Secretary to the Ogun State Government (SSG), Mr. Tokunbo Talabi maintained that the current administration did not owe any gratuities.
Talabi explained that, the current administration has paid a whopping sum of N1billion in two tranches to clear outstanding gratuities incurred since it came to power.
He noted that the unpaid gratuities were inherited from previous administrations.
“The meeting of today will further give us a better understanding of the issue. At the commencement of this administration, we had a robust dialogue with all stakeholders and I’m happy to say we are one of the first set of state to implement the minimum wage.
“The pensioners have basis for their agitation, but all we are saying let’s ensure there’s enough dialogue between all stakeholders.
“We have reached an understanding on the basis that, there were allegations that some people are paid underground. The state government is not aware of this and if we found anything like that, we will make amendment.”
Asked to speak on the numbers of pensioners paid so far, Mr. Talabi said, “I cannot tell specific numbers, but the process is on first occurrence basis, the intention is to start in two N500m, as time goes, we shall allocate a substantial part to increase.”