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Ondo Government pays ₦1bn gratuity arrears to local government retirees

The disbursement was necessary in spite of pressing financial commitments of the government and the limited resources.

Governor-Rotimi-Akeredolu (Tribune online)

Gov Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who flagged off the payment on Thursday in Akure, said that the disbursement was necessary in spite of pressing financial commitments of the government and the limited resources.

Akeredolu, represented by the Special Adviser on Union Matters, Mr Dare Aragbaye, said the government was worker-friendly, hence the gracious approval of payment for retired local government staff and primary school teachers.

“You would recall that our administration met an arrears of seven months unpaid salaries at its inception in 2017 for both the state and local government staff.

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“It is gladdening that barely a month after, the state government fully paid all arrears of outstanding salaries to the local government staff and their counterparts in primary schools, another sum of 1.0 billion has been set aside as gratuity arrears being owed this category of workers who had retired from active service,” he said.

The governor stated that all retirees of primary schools and local government in the category would be paid their gratuities, either living or dead. He promised that another tranche of payment would be approved for retirees in local government and primary schools in the first quarter of 2024.

Akeredolu added that his administration would not allow retirees to go through any agony or plight before getting their benefits. He said that there would be regular payments of gratuities in order to defray all arrears of gratuities in no meantime.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Amidu Takuro, said that it was a thing of joy that the retirees could receive their benefits having worked for it.

“They are getting their credit alerts now in full payment of their benefits and I want to thank Mr Governor, who has made it happen.

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“Mr Governor mandated us to look at how we could clear the gratuity arrears.

“His vision is to always put smiles on faces of people of Ondo State.

“All 2011 retirees and part of 2012 are being paid now and those who are in need or sick are being considered and paid as well irrespective of when they retired,” he added.

In his remarks, the President of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Bola Taiwo, commended the Akeredolu-led government for paying workers’ salaries regularly as well as benefits of pensioners.

Taiwo said that the tradition in the previous government was to pay workers salaries and leave pensioners unpaid or being paid later. He said that the state government had paid all arrears of pensions in the state, adding that the payment of gratuities would be gradual.

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Responding on behalf of pensioners, Mr Johnson Osunyemi, the Chairman of Ondo State Pensioners Association, expressed gratitude to the state governor for the gesture to pensioners. Osunyemi said that it was only the state that had implemented increase of pensions for retirees in the state.

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