Pensioners in Ondo State yesterday gave the state government four days ultimatum to pay their gratuities and pension arrears amounting to N15 billion or face their wrath.
The pensioners, who are retirees from the civil service, teaching service and local government service, said after a meeting they held in Akure, the State capital, that the ultimatum became necessary because previous entreaties to the government on the matter did not yielded any result.
The Secretary of Akure Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Funso Odere said none of the retirees, who retired since 2011, has received any gratuity.
Odere said the total indebtedness of the state government to the pensioners in term of gratuity aside the monthly pension is about N15billion even as they accused the government of making uillegal deductions from their monthly stipends.
According to them, the money being deducted is paid to consultant that is in charge of remittal and regretted that the state government has chosen to pay consultant and not the pensioners.
“Some pensioners, who retired years ago, are paid N5, 000 whereas those who retired early this year are paid N80, 000. We want the government to harmonise this payments. You cannot imagine a permanent secretary who laid the foundation for old Ondo State being paid N50.000, while those who retired this year earn over N350, 000.
“Some pensioners retired early this year, especially those who retired between January and August have not been paid their pension arrears. The government paid one month instead of eight months,” he said adding that many of them are ailing; died because they could not they could not afford to buy drugs.
Odere said since the bailout received from federal government is not meant for the payment of pensioners, the government should raise fund from other sources to pay them, instead of allowing them to die.
He said if by the end of the week their August pension is not paid, they would have no choice but to take to the streets next week.

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