The Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Union Of Pensioners, NUP, yesterday took a swipe at Governor Abiola Ajimobi for broadcasting workers’ and pensioners’ salaries and pensions respectively.
The government had earlier this week announced the release of N9.7 billion to the workers and pensioners in the state.
But NUP chairman, Pa Gbadegesin Akande, in a statement made available to Insight Oyo, said the amount released was not something they should celebrate as it was an accumulation of three month allocations from the Federal Allocation Committee.
Expressing its displeasure with the governor’s action, they commended the governments of Kolapo Ishola, Lam. Adesina, Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala, stating that “None of these governments ever went on air to broadcast payment of salaries of workers and pensions of Pensioners as this government.
Below is the full statement:
PRESS CONFERENCE IN REACTION TO A PURPORTED RELEASE OF N9.7 BILLION BY OYO STATE GOVERNMENT TO WORKERS AND PENSIONERS AT THE MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS AND ADDRESSED BY THE CHAIRMAN, NIGERIA UNION OF PENSIONERS, OYO STATE, PA. GBADEGESIN AKANDE AT NIGERIA UNION OF PENSIONERS, OYO STATE SECRETARIAT, AGBARIGO ON THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2018.
The Press space and the social media had been awash with the announcement by the Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Honourable Bimbo Kolade to the effect that N9.7b had been released by government to pay salaries of workers in the Local Government and retired Primary School Teachers and Local government retirees. Our Union would have ignored this obnoxious announcement but for the need to put the matter in proper perspective hence this important Press briefing.
The N9.7 billion purportedly released was an accumulation of three month allocations from the Federal Allocation Committee kept in safe custody by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters for reasons best known to that Ministry while workers and pensioners to be paid suffered. At the State level, salaries and pensions of State Pensioners, Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions are paid promptly at the release of Federal Allocations!
While the State had paid March about one and a half months ago and April recently, the Ministry of Local Government is just disbursing salaries of workers for the month of March, 2018. It is pertinent to inform that Federal allocations are paid to both State and Local Governments at the same time on the same day. You may need to ask why the Ministry of Local Government does not pay at the prompt release of Federal allocations.
As for retired Primary School Teachers, only, N438,752,827.86 out of the so-called N9.7 billion was disbursed to pay them JUNE, 2017 PENSION! The statement of the Honourable Commissioner attested to this.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, retired Primary School Teachers and Local Government Pensioners are still being owed 5-56 months (for teachers and several months for local government pensioners) and gratuities running into N42,342,663,522.96 (N42.3b). Is it good music to owe these pensioners N42.3b and then rush to the radio to announce the payment of a pittance of N438 million which was even paid twice (N219 million each)? The other time the Office of the Head of Service went to the press to announce the release of N200 million to pay gratuity to pensioners on levels 01-07 who retired from 2011-2012. If it took this government 7 years (2011-2018) to pay 201 pensioners who were on grade levels 01-07 how many years would it take her to pay pensioners on levels 8 and above for 2011 and 2012, and others on levels 01-17 who retired from 2013 – 2018? Our findings at the Ministry of Establishment and Trainings which rolled out the N200 million showed that gratuities yet to be paid pensioners from the balance of levels 08 and above for those that retired in 2011 and 2012, and those that retired from 2013 – 2018 stand at about N20 billion naira! Why should government gloat over payment of a mere N200 million when she is owing about 20 billion in that sector?
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, beloved Comrades we have witnessed the workings of past governments of Kolapo Ishola, Lam. Adesina, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala. None of these governments ever went on air to broadcast payment of salaries of workers and pensions of Pensioners as this government. As far as this government is concerned the security implications of such announcements do not matter. Broadcasting salaries of workers and pensions of pensioners on air is nothing but crude and primitive politicking. Payment of salaries and pensions is a right not a priviledge and should not be seen as doing workers and pensioners any favour. In saner environment governments would pay compensations for late payment of salaries and pensions!
At the fullness of time, retired Primary School Teachers and Local Government pensioners would collect their entitlements legitimately from this government. I thank you very much.