On the 2nd of June 2020, after seven years of long-suffering, 82 pensioners (out of 6274), got the backlog of gratuity and full retirement benefits paid in Oyo State. Governor Seyi Makinde conducted the well-deserved ceremonial flag off of what we hope will be a sustainable payment of outstanding debts to pensioners starting with N180 million owing since 2013.
We applaud the Governor for using this payment as a landmark for his one-year anniversary, however we strongly advocate that other pensioners outside the inaugural list of beneficiaries be speedily considered for their payments as well.
It is unbearable that previous governments have neglected government workers that retired this long ago. One wonders if they can truly be referred to as pensioners if they have not started receiving any form of pension. This amounts to a tragic form of abuse perpetrated by past governments on those entering their most vulnerable years having spent their best years in the service of the State.
It is noted that a backlog of N26billion in gratuities remains unpaid. One can only point out that if paid quickly, the multiplier effect on the State’s economy will be significant. Unfortunately, Governor Makinde who is restricted by limited resources, has promised that “despite the meager resources available to the state, my administration will continue to bring relief to the entire workforce in the state and it’s senior citizens”. We hope that he keeps this promise.
During the presentation of cheques to the 82 retirees, the Governor said his administration has been making efforts to offset the debt ; “I gave you a promise that as our economy is getting expanded, so also we will be adding more to what we need to pay to pensioners to ensure that we shorten the period within which we can offset this debt, I give you the assurance that we will keep paying off these debts and I know we will finish paying them”.
Governor Seyi Makinde should be commended for this resolve while we point out that justice delayed is justice denied. We therefore ask that he should speedily fulfill his promise to pay the other retirees. It can only improve the State’s economy.
Bunmi Sodade for NARP50PLUS.