Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Pensioners in Ekiti State have urged the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to investigate the reason behind the delay in the payment of pension to members despite introducing centralised payment for all pensioners in the state.
The retirees under the aegis of Concerned Local Government Pensioners’ Association of Nigeria also described the proposal by Fayemi to make payment of pension to Ekiti retirees from a central source as a veritable way to curb corruption in the state’s civil service.
The pensioners said through the process, retirees at the state and local government levels will be given equal attention and receive their payments when conventional civil servants are paid.
Owing to the noticeable delay leading to excruciating pains and hardship on the parts of the pensioners, Fayemi had upon assumption of office on October 16 promised to initiative a centralised electronic payment to all pensioners in the state, which the members described as a way of resolving issues relating to payment.
The state Chairman of the group, Alhaji Quadri Oguntuase, and Secretary, Mr. Abiodun Agboola, who spoke with newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, said they found it disheartening that his members were still not paid the November pension in spite of the promise made by the governor that all pensioners will henceforth be paid centrally.
They urged Fayemi to resolve the logjam leading to the delay in the payment of their November pensions and also investigate the mystery behind the delay and impose appropriate sanctions on workers creating unnecessary bottleneck causing untold hardship to members.
Oguntuase expressed sadness that many of their members who are on drugs could not afford their medicare owing to acute financial problem, urging the governor to wade into the issue and resolve the delay in the interest of the local government pensioners.
“Our fear was assuaged by the promise made by Governor Fayemi that all state and local government pensioners will be paid centrally to ensure prompt payment and checkmate corruption. We agreed with this arrangement and praise the governor for this landmark initiative.
“On Friday, November 30, in line with Governor Fayemi’s vow to pay as and when due, all the serving local government workers, state retirees and even primary school teachers’ pensioners received their payment while the local government retirees were left behind.
“We are a little bit taken aback by this delay, because all our colleagues have been paid. Even the primary school teachers retirees who are under local governments have been paid why are we now being sidelined?” he asked.