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Osun pensioners groan over arrears


Rauf Aregbesola

Rauf Aregbesola

Pensioners have called on the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration in Osun State to defray the three-month backlog owed them, saying they were last paid in May this year.

The senior citizens even alleged that they had received half of their entitlements since July 2015.

A retiree, Sola Olojede, in a chat with The Guardian lamented that the situation had exposed many senior citizens to various health challenges with some of them dying owing to inability to seek medication.

“Most of us have found ourselves in precarious situation. We have made several appeals and staged peaceful protests to draw the attention of the government to our plight to no avail,” he said.

Another victim, Gbenga Oyeleke, said the arrears had left many of them to wallow in abject poverty. He regretted that government was still relegating welfare of retirees to the background.

“Is it not strange that some retired workers are still pressing for payment of their gratuity after they had left the service many years back?’ he said.

He enjoined Aregbesola to do more to enable pensioners enjoy the reward of service in their lifetime.

Former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Sunday Akere, however, affirmed that government held retirees in high esteem which he said, informed Aregbesola’s decision to pay the senior citizens three months at a go in May.

“The retirees should be appreciative of what the government is doing. It was out of sheer concern to their welfare that the governor went out of his way to approve payment of three-month pension arrears despite the financial challenges facing the state,’’ Akere remarked.

He assured that government would not neglect any section but do its best by ensuring prompt payment of salaries and pension once funds are available.

“This is a government that is busy working, managing to build road infrastructure and school facilities to enhance rapid development of the state without prejudice to the welfare of citizens.

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