From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday, presented bond certificates worth an N1.156billion to another set of pensioners in the State.
The bond certificates were presented to 162 retirees comprising primary school teachers, local government staff and those in the core civil service, parastatals and state-owned tertiary institutions.
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A breakdown shows that 93 retirees from local government service and primary schools were presented N656,304,000 bond certificates while 69 retirees from the core civil service, parastatals and tertiary institutions got a total of N500million bond certificates.
Presenting the bond at the Multi-purpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Oyetola disclosed that his administration has so far expended over N43billion on payment of pensions.
The governor also ordered the immediate implementation of the 65 years retirement age and 40 years of length of service for teachers in public schools across the state, saying this is in fulfilment of the pledge he made to workers during the last May Day celebration in the State.
Oyetola said despite the limited resources available to the State government, his administration had continued to fulfil the monthly obligation and irrevocably committed to the payment of pensions and gratuities of retirees under the old pension scheme.
He said, “As of today, we have committed a little over 43billion naira to the payment of pensions, all in a bid to ensure that our senior citizens are adequately taken care of, having served our dear State meritoriously. This, we are committed to doing unabated, not minding the precarious financial situation of the State occasioned by the economic downturn in the country.
“Let me also use this opportunity to inform you all that our administration is set to commence the implementation of the sixty-five (65) years of age and forty years (40) length of service for teachers in Public Schools across the State. This is in line with my pronouncement during the May Day celebration this year and in adopting the Federal Government policy on the matter as amended.
“I must emphasize that this initiative was taken without any pressure from any Union but as part of the packages this administration has for teachers in our State so that they can enjoy the same opportunity with their colleagues throughout the Country.”
The Governor expressed gratitude to the workers most importantly the organized labour, for their ‘unalloyed support and high sense of understanding’ towards the sustainability of the whole gamut of pension matters in the State.
“It is heartwarming to note that our administration has not only been successful in the issuance of Bond Certificates to the retirees but has also ensured that infrastructural development in the State is not lacking.
“As an administration, our focus is to make life more bearable for all and sundry in the State. For me, regular payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities is a covenant between me and God. I shall therefore continue to discharge this responsibility for as long as I remain the Governor of our dear State.
“This is the more reason we have continued to do all in our power to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our people within the ambit of available resources. I want to assure our people who have entrusted us with their mandate that, with us, you are in safe hand as we have other packages in stock which shall be unfolded as we continue the journey together,” he added.
Some of the beneficiaries who could not hide their feelings extolled Governor Oyetola for putting smiles on their faces despite the socioeconomic reality of the State.
Speaking, Micheal Akinwumi Fasipe and Adeniyi Hafusat Moronke described the payment of their pension by the state government as one of the great things that have happened to them on this earth.
They prayed to God to continue to uphold the Governor and his government for taking the welfare and general well-being of the masses particularly workers as a priority since the assumption of office.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Local Government Staff Pension Bureau, Kayode Aliu Afolabi, said the Contributory Pension Scheme under the administration of Governor Oyetola had recorded many achievements among which are regular remittances into employees’ retirement Savings Account Funding of the Accrued Rights Account and Settlement of death benefits of deceased contributors.
“It is pertinent to mention that the successes recorded in the Scheme so far are due to the passion and resilience of Mr Governor in seeing to the welfare of the people of the State even in the face of a dearth of funds. I thank Mr Governor for his support and commitment to the Scheme, particularly to the welfare of retirees,” he stated.
Also speaking, the State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi and State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, lauded Oyetola for his tremendous support for workers in the State, noting that the new feat was a clear manifestation of the love the Governor has for teachers and the teaching profession.
“The present generation of teachers in the state cannot thank you enough for your kind gesture, the upcoming generations shall inherit and keep going with it for years,” Adekomi stated.
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