No plan to defraud pensioners — Fayemi
• As Ekiti PDP Alleges Plot To Deduct N6b From Pensioners’ Entitlements
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has refuted the allegation that he wants to deduct N6b from pensioners’ entitlements. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had alleged that Fayemi was colluding with a Lagos-based private company to deduct over N6b from pensioners in the state.
The party described the state government’s new scheme, in which pensioners desirous of getting their gratuities and pensions, were made to sign-off 15 percent of their entitlements as “wicked, callous and fraudulent.”
Responding, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Mr. Akin Oyebode, said Ekiti has paid pensioners N1.2b out of over N14b owed, by paying N100m monthly to defray the backlog of pension and gratuity arrears.
Oyebode, while appearing on a radio programme in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, said Fayemi had jarked up a monthly payment of the arrears from N10m to N100m monthly, as the governor has the interest of pensioners at heart and has no reason whatsoever to defraud them, as alleged by the opposition party.
Meanwhile, the PDP Caretaker Committee Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi, blamed Fayemi for the accumulated pensions, and gratuities in the state, saying: “During his first tenure when Ekiti State was receiving N7b, as monthly allocation and over N46b from the Excess Crude Account, Fayemi refused to pay retirees. He stopped allocating fund to the Pension Transition Arrangement Department in July 2012.
“When Fayemi returned as governor in 2018, he introduced favouritism to the payment of entitlements of retirees, as he chose to pay retired Permanent Secretaries, who retired in 2018 and 2019, with gratuities ranging between N12m and N15m and monthly pension running to over N400,000 each, while junior ones, with gratuity not more than N2m and monthly pension less than N30,000 were left unpaid…”
Odeyemi disclosed that the government was going to borrow over N40b to pay pensioners. He also alleged the governor would be getting 10 percent out of the 15 percent to be deducted from the pensioners’ entitlement. He said: “We have been reliably informed that the 10 percent, which amounts to over N4b is to be paid into an offshore account owned by a crony of the governor”.
Oyebode continued: “Governor Kayode Fayemi is not happy that people worked for 35 years without collecting what are due to them. The governor said with payment of N100m monthly, some of the pensioners might not take their benefits till they die and that informed the reason why we deliberated at the executive council to bring an investor to pay the money at once.
“Under this arrangement, what we intend to bring an investor to pay the money to individual once with 15 percent deduction, but those who want to stick with monthly payment won’t suffer any deduction. They will be collecting it on tranches until it is paid. It is voluntary.
“But a pensioner might even negotiate for one or two years spread in payment and if that one is adopted, the percentage of deduction will be lower. The 15 percent is for those who want the money paid at once and it is not compulsory.
“But we are assuring our pensioners that whatever arrangements we are putting in place shall involve all their members. They will all participate in the arrangements and the best method that will make them happy shall be adopted.”
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