By Kayode Fasua
Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has released over N500 million to offset arrears of salaries and pensions owed retirees in the state.
He disclosed the gesture yesterday while distributing cheques to pensioners in Abeokuta, the state capital.
“Today, we will be distributing the first installment of quarterly provision of a minimum of N500 million among the various cadres of pensioners under the state government, local government, as well as the commencement of the argumentation of the shortfall on the BRT payment,” he disclosed
He said the payments were all inherited liabilities from previous administrations, adding also that the process of paying the gratuities had started.
“This is a promise made and promise kept,” he stressed.
The governor said the arrangement was already in place to substantially increase quarterly provisions for the retirees once the economy of the state got better.
“Apart from the payment of monetary entitlements, let me also assure our elder statesmen and women that we are committed to providing other opportunities for them under our social welfare scheme.
“I enjoin our dear elders to take advantage of our administration’s various social intervention programmes. For those of you who are into micro and small businesses, you can key into micro credit scheme that provides a window for women to access financial resources,” he said.
He explained that the programme empowered “our people to expand their micro and small businesses”.
Abiodun also disclosed that in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the state had inaugurated the Anchor Borrowers Scheme on Agriculture.
“Under this scheme, our people, including our pensioners, could turn to Agric Entrepreneurship as a way of life and living.
“Under the scheme, participants will be provided with land, which will be cleared for them, improved seedling and other extension services.
“In addition, off takers, that is, the Anchors, will be sourced for their produce at agreed prices that are known to all at the time of planting, thereby guaranteeing price stability and adequate reward for effort,” Abiodun explained.