Ogun, please pay our gratuity
SIR: My attention was drawn to the above publication in some newspapers last year 2015 on the above subject matter whereby the Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun was quoted as attributing the delay in payment of gratuity to some retired state and local government workers to the dwindling federal allocation to the state due to the drastic fall in oil prices globally.
The above claim is a little bit confusing because as at July 2015 when the state was applying for the bail-out funds from the Federal Government the state was not owing the local government retirees any pension arrears, only gratuity is in arrears, and the approval of the state House of Assembly to the tune of nine billion naira for local government and N9.5 billion for the state from the bail-out funds, which the Federal Government eventually approved N20 billion for the state, for local government and state serving officers and pensioners for the payment of salaries, pension gratuity and deductions in the state.
Consequently, the dwindling federal allocation has nothing to do with the payment of our gratuity of which the state government had paid up to November 2011 for the local government and October 2012 for the state government retirees, the bail-out fund released by the Federal Government is strictly for the payment of civil servants entitlements and not for any other debts owed by the state government.
In conclusion, I wish to once again appeal to his Excellency to please pay our gratuity to stop the numerous preventable deaths of our retirees due to various health challenges that could be effectively addressed if the gratuity is paid in good time.
• S. A. Onasanya,
Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State