…Reiterates commitment to programmes, policies that’ll enhance quality of life
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji on Monday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to programmes and policies that will enhance the quality of life of Ekiti residents, especially the pensioners.
The Governor stated this during the presentation of cheques worth N915 million naira as gratuities to 289 State, local government and primary school retirees in the state at the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti.
Speaking at the event which was hailed as unprecedented in the state, Governor Oyebanji
said the payment of the gratuity was in fulfilment of his campaign promise of shared prosperity, adding that his administration would continue to ensure that pensioners enjoy a worthy life after their meritorious service to the state.
Governor Oyebanji, who said he was not unaware of challenges confronting the retires as a result of regrettable delay in accessing their gratuity benefits as and when due, assured the senior citizens that his government is irrevocably committed to ending the regime of endless wait in the payment of gratuities.
He informed the gathering that since the inception of his administration in October 2022, over 1.2 billion Naira had been paid as gratuity to both the State and Local government retirees while payment of monthly pensions had been regular.
At the event, which was also attended by the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro, members of the State Executive Council, the Head of Service, Barr. Bamidele Agbede, and Labour leaders, the Governor charged the beneficiaries to utilize the money wisely by using it to take good care of their health to improve the quality of their lives.
“Today’s event is an actualization of one of my electioneering promises to our people. As I had promised you, I am committed to all programmes and policies that will enhance the quality of life, especially our pensioners who had spent their youthful age in the service of our dear State. Without any doubt, today’s event is another fulfilment our promise to make life worth living for our pensioners and commitment to our shared prosperity agenda.
“As elders and critical stakeholders who occupy strategic position in the scheme of things, our government is living no stone unturned to ensure that you all live a quality and happy life at retirement. I am aware of the many odds and challenges confronting retirees as a result of the regrettable delay in accessing your gratuity as and when due.
“I am therefore committed to ensuring that the welfare of our retirees continues to be of topmost priority. We are also irrevocably committed to ending the regime of endless wait in the payment of gratuity by our senior citizens. This is a priority for us and we will continue to explore innovative ways to support you in your retirement.
“Since we came on board, we have always paid pensions along with salaries of public servants. This, I assure you, will continue. Today, the sum of N700 million has be paid out to 192 retired civil servants as gratuity and the sum of N215 million to 79 Local Government retirees”. The Governor stated.
Governor Oyebanji used the opportunity to express his appreciation and to commend the management of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) at both state and local government levels for the hard work and transparency they have deployed in processing this payment with particularly reference to their policy based on first-to-retire, first-to-be-paid, urging to sustain it religiously.
Earlier in his opening remark, the Head of Service, Barrister Bamidele Agbede thanked the Governor for working his talk and for fulfilling his electioneering promise to the retirees.
The Head of Service said the Governor has continually demonstrated a genuineness of purpose and willingness of heart to restore dignity to the class of the elder citizens who sacrificed their active years contributing to the growth and development of the State.
In their goodwill messages, the State Chairmen of Nigeria Union of Pensioners in the state, Elder Joel Akinola Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Kolapo Olatunde; Trade Union Congress, Comrade Sola Adigun and Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Femi Ajoloko expressed their appreciation to the Governor for making welfare of workers in the state a top priority in his agenda.
The Labour leaders commended the achievements of the Governor in just 200 days in office and pledged continued support of senior citizens and workers in the state to the success of the administration adding the state never had it so good as far as the welfare of the elderly was concerned.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Beatrice Ogunjemilua and Mr Alonge Michael Alabi thanked the Governor for fulfilling the promises he made to pensioners during his electioneering campaign and prayed for him for long life and wisdom to continue to paddle the affairs of the state to greater heights.
A major high point of the event was the prayer offered on behalf of the Governor for him to have a successful tenure and for God to prosper the state during his tenure.