The Oyo State Government has paid the sum of N1.38 billion as gratuity to 465 retired primary school teachers and local government staff.
The cheques were distributed on Monday at the lobby of Water Corporation Building, Secretariat in Ibadan.
The gratuity, paid to both the living and dead staff, was the sixth tranche since inception of the Gov Seyi Makinde-led administration.
Alhaji Bayo Titilola-Sodo, the Special Adviser to Makinde on Labour Matters,
appreciated God for giving the governor the required wisdom, strength and strong will to withstand criticism from the opposition as well as pessimists.
“You will all recall that Gov. Makinde has been so passionate about the pensioners, that’s why their welfare has been so paramount to him.
“He does not joke with issues bordering on both the serving and retired personnel at all.
“This kind gesture of our dear governor was however reciprocated by the national body of pensioners with an award just recently,” the special adviser said.
He said that Makinde was doing everything humanly possible towards ensuring all the gratuity debts were cleared during his time, notwithstanding the economic situation across the country.
Prince Adebayo Adeyemi, the Chairman, Local Government Staff Pension Board, expressed gratitude to God and thanked Makinde for displaying interest in the welfare of the downtrodden.
He commended the governor for prioritising the welfare of senior citizens who had contributed immensely toward the development of their beloved fatherland.
“Most often, when we consider the multifaceted challenges confronting the State in the art of governance, one is marvelled by the governor’s efforts in tackling the issue headlong, even in the face of the present economic downturn and ever increasing obligations to attend to,” Adeyemi said.
The board chairman said that 465 retirees benefitted from the N1.38 billion earmarked for the 6th tranche of cheque distribution.
Earlier, Dr. Ayodele Busari, the Board Secretary, appreciated Makinde for giving the pension board staff a conducive atmosphere to operate.
He also thanked members of staff for working hard to make the payment a huge success.
Pastor Samuel Awobode, the representative of Auditor-General for Local Government and Mr Segun Abatan, the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), appreciated the governor for his effort.
The duo in their separate remarks, applauded the state government for rising to the challenge of regular payment of gratuity/pensions, admonishing the retirees on judicious use of the entitlements.
Mr Akin Funmilayo, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Local Government Service Commission; executive members of NUP, management staff of Pension Board and other important dignitaries were present at the event.