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How 3000 pensioners were killed

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Some of our members earn as little as 4, 000 monthly - NUP

There is no doubt that there has been outright
marginalisation of workers and pensioners in Osun state by
the government. Certainly, this is due to low funds accruing
to the state and its inability to generate internal revenue to
meet wages and other developmental needs of the people.
Bad as the state’s financial predicament appears to be, the
workers, particularly the retirees have been most affected,
with a death figure of about 3,000 pensioners as at March 29,
this year due to no payment take care of their needs,
especially feeding and medical bills , writes our
Correspondent

In Osun State, there is no doubt that the immediate past administration
of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola started by demonstrating his love for the
entire workers in the state.
Part of his way of demonstration to the workers then was that, the
governor ensured that the workers’ salaries and pensions were paid by
25th of every months while government also paid extra one month for
all the workers as well for them to celebrates the festive period making
thirteen (13) months salaries being received by each state government
worker.
But due to reduction of monthly allocation of the state, the state
government agreed to find solution of making its workers happy by
setting up a committee headed by the former NLC President, Comrade
Hassan Sunmonu, who will advise government on what to do.

Part of the committee's recommendations was introduction of payment
of modulated salary to a category of workers.

With the recommendations, workers from Grade Level 01-07 were to
receive full salaries, from grade level 08-12 were receiving 50℅ while
workers from grade level 13-16 entitles to 75℅. 

After some time, Osun state government decided to stop paying
modulated salaries to its workers and started paying the backlog arrears
to workers.

But, immediately Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola assumed the office in the
state, he announced of creating 30,000 jobs and promised to run a
people-friendly administration.

He said, "We in partnership with private sectors will establish large
manufacturing industries in the major sectors of the economy to create at
least 30,000 jobs.”
Oyetola promised the people of Osun state that the welfare of workers in
the state will be of utmost concern, therefore, salaries will be paid
promptly.
“Ours shall be a government committed to serving the people,” Oyetola
stated.

“We will ensure workers’ salaries are paid promptly based on the
financial inflow of the state. We will prioritize workers welfare and
pensioners.”
Meanwhile, workers and retirees in Osun State are now crying
aloud over the inability of the state government to pay their
backlog salaries and pensions arrears.

The workers and pensioners were owed two years arrears by the
All Progressive Congress, APC led regime led by Governor
Gboyega Oyetola.

Many of the workers are now seriously indebted to their landlords
and food vendors in the state.

Before the recently concluded governorship election in the state,
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had fooled the workers by paying their
salaries promptly in order to get their support.

The government claimed that the monthly all being received by
the state had been drastically reduced hence the failure of the
state government to pay the workers and pensioners in the state.

Nigerian Pilot Weekend learnt that, the state public servants are
forced to be suffering in silence due to the threat by the
government that they would reduce the state workforce.

However, this paper gathered that, the state government
resources had been dwindling due to heavy deduction from the
state funds allocation by many of its debtors.
Recently, pensioners in the State hit the streets of Osogbo, the
state capital, to stage a fresh protest against the non-payment of
their pensions and gratuities.
The retirees said the state government owed them 18 months’
pensions because of the modulated payment policy since 2015,
adding that many of them who retired since 2011 had not been
paid their gratuities.
Finding revealed that the state government had refused to pay the
33 per cent as well as the 142 per cent increment implemented
for pensioners.
Majority of these pensioners are dying of hunger while their
entitlements are not regular.
The 33 per cent increase implemented in 2010 has not been
implemented. The 142 per cent increment has not been paid
also. 
According to the finding, series of letters have been written by the
pensioners to the governor without any acknowledgment.
A pensioner who spoke under the condition of anonymity said,
"We don’t have any grudge against the government but we want
our entitlements. We are not politicians and no politician is using
us. What we want is that our entitlements should be paid so that
we can begin to live a decent life. We have worked so hard and

now that we are supposed to be eating the fruits of our labor, the
government is depriving us.
Some of our members have been ejected from homes because
they can’t pay rent; our children are out of schools. Some of our
graduates are jobless".
“No fewer than 3000 retirees had died as of March 2019, saying
the majority of the deceased died due to starvation and frustration
while a retired headmaster committed suicide in Ejigbo. 
Retirees had been facing very tough challenges due to the
problem of unpaid pensions and gratuities in Osun state ".
This paper also learnt that the entire pensioners in Osun have
taking the state government to the law court to demonstrate their
plights.
Similarly, there is information that the Osun state government has
concluded efforts to retrench workers in the state so that it can
survive the problems facing from the payment of salaries and
pensions.
Another issues facing the incumbent government of Gboyega
Oyetola, is that of non-release of running cost to some categories
of workers which has also paralysed government activities.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, March salary was
just paid to the workers in the state.

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