James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Head of Service (HoS) Mr. Dare Aragbaye, Thursday said the state government had discovered that some pensioners bribed some officials in the pension office in order to fast track the process of their pensions.
Aragbaye stated this when members of the Nigeria Union of Pension
(NUP) in the state led by the state Chairman, Chief Raphael Adetuwo, paid a courtesy call on him in his office.
The HoS also charged pensioners to join hands with the state government to block all leakages of pension fund so as to alleviate the plight of their members in the state by exposing all their members who are still collecting the pension of the dead ones among them.
Aragbaiye urged members of the union to desist from colluding with serving officers of the government who are extorting money from pensioners for the purpose of facilitating payment of their gratuity, saying the state government would no longer tolerate such corruption in the system.
“l know that when people are retiring, they contribute money to give officers to process their gratuity and pension, this is ungodly,” he added.
He, therefore, charged that the NUP should openly condemn and expose those behind the pains being experienced by pensioners in the state.
The HoS assured them that the state government would open a channel through which members of the union and other concerned members of the public could expose the corruption in the state pension administration.
The NUP had earlier commended the state government for paying gratuity amounting to over N4 billion to pensioners in the state since the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu administration came on board in2017.
Speaking on behalf of the union, its Secretary, Akin Sunday, appealed to the state government to commence the implementation of the approved 33 percent pension increase for pensioners which their counterparts at the federal level have been enjoying since 2014.
Sunday equally enjoined the state government to increase the allocation for the payment of gratuity to pensioners at both the state and local government levels in order to enhance prompt payment of gratuity to workers immediately after their retirement, lamenting that so many of the retirees have died before the payment of their gratuity.