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States Pensioners’ Gratuities: Aregbesola Calls For FG’s Intervention

By Ismaeel Uthman The Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola has called on the Federal government to assist state governments across the country in raising bonds to pay the gratuities of state pensioners who voluntarily retired in 2012 from the service to avoid the Contributory Pension Scheme. Saying that the state government is…”
Editor
August 20, 2017 6:24 am

By Ismaeel Uthman

The Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola has called on the Federal government to assist state governments across the country in raising bonds to pay the gratuities of state pensioners who voluntarily retired in 2012 from the service to avoid the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Saying that the state government is not insensitive to the plight of pensioners in the state, he explained that the government is incapacitated to pay the pensioners gratuity which is about N5bn.

Aregbesola spoke while playing host to the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Mrs Sharon Ikiazor who paid him a courtesy visit at the state secretariat on Monday.

Aregbesola noted that the state has been struggling and managing to pay salaries and pensions because of the continuous decline of the nation’s economy as a result of the instability in the crude oil market.

“As at the time they were leaving, the state was already struggling to pay salaries as a result of the sharp drop in the revenue accruable to the state from the Federal government.

“It started with a drop of about N600 million and it later jumped toN1bn. If we could not meet up with their gratuity in 2012, how could we do it in 2013 or 2014 when it was getting tougher? Or is it going to be now when there is still a lot of instability in the crude oil market?

Aregbesola said the call for the FG’s intervention in the payment of gratuity for the state pensioners through provision of bonds is imperative because state governments in the country are under serious financial burdens.

According to Aregbesola, the bonds which will be paid back by the state government with ease will go a long way in relieving the states of financial burden, ensure prompt payment to pensioners and as well boost the nation’s economy, as money will be in circulation.

The Governor disclosed that a lot of states across the federation who have joined the Contributory Pension Scheme are finding it difficult to offset the accumulated huge gratuity of pensioners as a result of the mass exodus from the service because they did not want to join the new pension regime.

He said, “Many of the workers did not want to join the Contributory Pension Scheme, a lot of them exited the service at the same time, thereby making state governments to have huge gratuity responsibilities upon them.

“I believe the Federal government can assist the state governments in raising bonds which will be paid back with ease. With the bonds, the state governments can pay the gratuities of these pensioners, thereby injecting money into the economy and boost the economy in return.

“I believe we must do all we can to ease the sufferings of the people and this is a good avenue to inject money into the system. I urge the Federal government to assist in easing the burden of the states concerning this issue because I believe they have the capacity to do it”.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Mrs Sharon Ikiazor stated that the directorate is in the state for the continuous pension verification exercise of federal pensioners.

“We are here to carry out the usual verification exercise of federal pensioners and we are satisfied with the hospitality we have received”, she said.

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