Amosun blames non-payment of gratuity on dwindling revenue
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has attributed the delay in payment of gratuity to some retired State workers to the dwindling federal allocation to the state
The Governor however assured that he would continue to pay pension to beneficiaries as at when due.
Amosun who spoke when executive members of the State chapter of the Nigeria Pensioners’ Union called on him at his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta office, sought the understanding of the pensioners on the dwindling allocation to the State, saying his administration would continue to accord their welfare a priority
The pensioners, led by their Chairman, Comrade Kensington Olukoya said they called on the governor to intimate him that they were not behind newspaper reports that the government owes them several months of pension arrears.
Olukoya admitted that the government has paid pension up to date but stressed, “What the government owes us is gratuity and payment of its own share of the contributory fund which it has not been remitting.”
He said their members who retired between 2011 and 2014 are yet to be paid their gratuities, thereby putting them in serious economic hardships.
He also talked of “harmonisation” which according to him would have raised their monthly pension allowance but which the government has failed to implement it.
Olukoya said local government staff that retired four and half years ago are yet to be paid their gratuity, disclosing that the total amount owed to that effect totaled N10 billion.
Amosun explained that in as much as he would love to meet all their demands, the situation on ground did not make it practicable.
He disclosed that because of the drastic fall in oil price resulting in dwindling “federal allocation” to the states, his administration receives little over N2 billion monthly against between N7 billion and N9 billion that the past administration received, saying such meager amount is barely enough to pay workers salaries, talk less of meeting other obligations.
According to him the allocation receives is not enough to pay only primary school teachers’ salary, which he put to close to N2 billion.
For the government to meet all demands, Amosun said, it must be able to raise at least N400 million daily as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) but said “as at now we are raising only between N100 million and N120 million.”
He however assured that as soon as the State’s economy improves, the government would meet all its obligations “but as at now, we must have priorities.” He mentioned the priorities to include payment of salaries.
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