Pensioners in Ondo State yesterday took to the streets of Akure, the Ondo state capital, to protest non-payment of their gratuities, several months of allowances and harmonisation arrears.
The protesters under the auspices of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, who had converged on its office as early as 8.00am, marched about few kilometres to the State Secretariat, chanting solidarity songs.
The pensioner armed with various placards with the following inscriptions: “Ondo State Government owes us N13 Billion” , “Pay Arrears of 15 percent pension increase”, “Our gratuities yet to be paid since 2011 December to both state and Local Government Pensioners,” among others.
According to them, they had earlier issued a press release on the 18th of July, 2015 in which they warned that they would not hesitate to have a show down with the Ondo State Government for being “recalcitrant” to their pressing needs for non- payment of backlog of arrears, allowances and gratuities that have cumulated to over N13billion.
They urged the government to pay pensioners from the bailout fund that the Federal Government will release.
A statement signed by the State NUP Chairman, Chief Raphael Adetuwo and the State Secretary of the union, Prince Adejare Adesida and Chief L.F Omoniyi, State Treasurer, decried the insensitivity of the state government to their plight.
“We are therefore constrained to inform Your Excellency, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, our Governor and the people of Ondo state that Ondo state Government owes Ondo State pensioners arrears of 15 percent pension increase in 2012.
Meanwhile, the State government has assured pensioners on its payroll of payment of their outstanding pension and gratuity after payment of workers’ salary this week.
A statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kayode Akinmade on Tuesday said government it acknowledged that the Pensioners were being owed outstanding arrears and hinged the inability to pay on the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account as well as low internally generated revenue.
Government assured the pensioners to expect payment of their arrears after salaries of workers in the state would have been paid later in the week.

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