Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, on Thursday, said his administration has expended over Forty-Three Billion Naira (N43,000,000,000) on payment of pensions since assuming office in November 2018.
He said despite the limited resources available to the State government, his administration had continued to fulfill the monthly obligation and irrevocably committed to the payment of pensions and gratuities of retirees under the old pension scheme.
This is as Oyetola also presented bond certificates worth 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.
A further 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.
Speaking during the bond presentation ceremony which held at the Multi-purpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola said his administration was committed to prioritising the welfare of the senior citizens, not minding the precarious financial situation of the state.
He said, “As at 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 do unabated, not minding the precarious financial situation of the State occasioned by the economic downturn in the country.”
The Governor expressed gratitude to the workers, and most especially the organised 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 extolled Governor Oyetola for putting smile on their faces notwithstanding the socioeconomic reality of the State.
The pensioners also eulogised the government for the prompt payment of their pensions saying God has used the Governor “to deliver our dues while still alive.”
Mr. Micheal Akinwumi Fasipe and Mrs. Adeniyi Hafusat Moronke described the payment of their pensions by the state government as one of the great things that has happened to them on this earth.
They prayed God to continue to uphold the Governor and his government for taking the welfare and general well-being of the masses particularly workers as priority since the assumption of office.