Ogun pays N1.5b severance allowances to ex-political appointees
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has distributed cheques totalling N1.5 billion to 663 former political office holders as payment for their severance allowances.
They are those who served under the administration of immediate past governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, between 2007-2011 and during Amosun’s first tenure, 2011-2015.
Any political appointee must have served for three years before qualifying for such privilege.The beneficiaries, however, excluded political appointees who served at the local council level under the immediate past administration and they were at the event to register their anger, questioning why the governor has “marginalised” them.
The governor was silent on why they were excluded.Amosun, who yesterday personally gave out the cheques to the beneficiaries in Abeokuta, the state capital, stressed that his administration would continue to be committed to the welfare of the state’s civil servants and political appointees.
In another development, Secretary to Kogi State Government (SSG), Mrs. Ayoade Arike Folashade, has explained why some pensioners were yet to be paid.
The SSG, who spoke at the Odokoro Day where the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) chairman launched a skills’ acquisition training centre to empower youths of the community, said there were cases of pensioners that have died but still collecting pensions.
Her words: “We have a case of a pensioner that retired as director, who eight years after retirement as a director was promoted as permanent secretary and 10 days later, retired as permanent secretary. He is now taking pension as permanent secretary after collecting pension as director for eight years.
“We have cases of pensioners that have retired and are still collecting pensions and regular salaries.“These are some of the anomalies that we want to correct. If there are pensioners that have not been paid, it is because we are in the process of getting to know the right pensioners.
“The people should also know that the review committee is not made up of people from Kogi State alone as we invited forensic auditors from outside the state.”
Amosun noted said that he was able to clear the allowances and six months’ arrears his administration owed the workers from the N10.6 billion that the state got from the Federal Government.
He said although the Federal Government had advised all states to use at least 25 per cent of the money to pay part of the outstanding salaries and allowances, Ogun was not only spending the percentage but had exhausted all the money on workers’ welfare.
A former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs under Daniel’s administration, Mr. Tunde Alabi, who responded on behalf of the beneficiaries, remarked: “The governor has shown that he is a governor of everybody as his gesture does not have any political party coloration.”