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Ogun retirees protest non-payment of N68 billion outstanding gratuities

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Dozens of Ogun State retirees on Tuesday stormed the streets of Abeokuta to protest over non-payment of their gratuities by the government.

The retirees, under the banner of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), came out with different placards to register their plights.

Some inscriptions on the placards read: ““Pay our gratuity to provide succour for our jobless children,” “We say a big no to the killers of pension reform,” “Gratuities are not meant for burial expenses,” and N2 billion annual releases takes 34 years to offer N68billion debt, so a 60 years pensioner will take gratuity at 94 years. Abomination,” among others.

Speaking with Journalists, the Chairman of the retirees, Waheed Oloyede, said the pensioners reject the state government’s proposal.

It was reported last week that Governor Dapo Abiodun proposed a release of N500 million quarterly to offset outstanding gratuities but the union disagreed, saying it would take 34 years to clear the outstanding N68 billion arrears.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that state workers are being owed gratuities from 2014 to date, while local government retirees are owed from 2011 to date.

The pensioners, however, called for N1 billion monthly release by the government and the immediate implementation of the 33.4 per cent increase in pension.

ALSO READ: Minimum Wage: Ogun workers call off warning strike

“We demand immediate implementation of the provisions of the circular on 33.4% increase in pension that was issued in 2010. We also demand for Conventional Review/Increase in pension in consonance with the provision of section 210 (3) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”

“It is unfortunate that salaries and wages had been reviewed severally without pension review. It is very disheartening that majority of pensioners are on N5,000 monthly pension in Ogun State, an amount which is not enough to feed the dogs of an elite in one day. This is the reason we have been calling for pension review /increase in the state.”

Mr Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Samorin, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES enquiries since Tuesday. Both telephone calls and text messages were not acknowledged.

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