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Ekiti, PDP Bicker Over Alleged 15% Deductions Of Gratuities

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The Ekiti State Government and the State chapter of the People’s Democractic Party (PDP) on Saturday disagreed over the alleged plot by the former to deduct gratuities of pensioners by 15 percent.

The opposition PDP accused Governor Kayode Fayemi of colluding with a Lagos- based private company, United Capital Plc, to loot over N6 billion from pensioners in the State.

The party described the government’s alleged new scheme, in which pensioners desirous of getting their gratuities and pensions are made to sign-off 15 percent of their entitlements as ‘wicked’, ‘callous’ and ‘fraudulent’.

In a statement in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday by the Ekiti PDP Caretaker Committee Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi, the party blamed Fayemi for the accumulated pensions and gratuities in the State.

The PDP explained that Fayemi during his first tenure refused to pay retirees and stopped allocating fund to the Pension Transition Arrangement Department even when the state was receiving N7 billion as monthly allocation and over N46 billion from the Excess Crude Account.

The party asked further: “We want to ask Governor Fayemi if contractors in the State who are being paid with borrowed funds are also made to part with 15 percent of the contract sum as condition to get paid.

“When Governor Fayemi returned as Governor in 2018, he introduced favouritism to the payment of entitlements of retiree, as he chose to pay retired Permanent Secretaries who retired in 2018 and 2019, with gratuities ranging between N12 million and N15 million and monthly pension running to over N400,000 each, while the junior ones, who are the most vulnerable with gratuity not more than N2 million and monthly pension less than N30,000 were left unpaid.”

Odeyemi alleged the State Government was going to borrow over N40 billion to pay the pensioners, asking; “If a government is borrowing money that will be repaid by the pensioners and other indigenes of the State, including those yet to be born, how sensible is it to still make the pensioners part with 15 percent of their entitlement?”

He accused Governor Fayemi of seeking to eat from the sweat of the pensioners, alleging a suspicion Governor will be getting10 percent out of the 15 percent to be deducted from the pensioners’ entitlement.

But Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Investment, Mr Akin Oyebode, had while appearing on a programme in Ado Ekiti explained that Ekiti has paid the pensioners N1.2 billion out of over N14 billion owed by paying N100 million monthly to defray the backlog of pension and gratuity arrears.

The Special Adviser said Fayemi jacked up monthly payment of the arrears from N10 million being paid by Governor Ayodele Fayose to N100 million monthly, saying this indicated the Governor has the interest of the pensioners at heart and has no reason whatsoever to dupe them as alleged by the opposition.

Oyebode said COVID- 19 has reduced the Federal allocation accruing to the state and it was becoming practically impossible to pay pension and gratuity.

This, he said, was responsible for why a special arrangement was made to pay the outstanding arrears with those who have interest of collecting whatever due to them now parting with 15 percent of the money.

“Governor Kayode Fayemi was not happy that people worked for 35 years without collecting what are due to them. The Governor said with payment of N100 million monthly, some of the pensioners might not take their benefits till they die and that informed the reason why we deliberated at the executive council to bring an investor to pay the money at once.

“Under this arrangement, what we intend to do is to bring an investor to pay the money to individual once with 15 percent deduction, but those who want to stick with monthly payment won’t suffer any deduction, they will be collecting it on tranches until it is paid. It is voluntary.

“But a pensioner might even negotiate for one or two years spread in payment and if that one is adopted, the percentage of deduction will be lower. The 15 percent is for those who want the money paid at once and it is not compulsory .

“We have not spent up two years, we have paid N1.2 billion unlike those who spent four years and paid like N440 million out of the arrears owed . We are determined to make them happy .

“But we are assuring our pensioners that whatever arrangements we are putting in place shall involve all their members. They will all participate in the arrangements and the best method that will make them happy shall be adopted,” Oyebode said.

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E-News

PTAD Postpones Resumption Of Pensioners’ Verification  

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The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has postponed the resumption of the walk-in verification exercise for pensioners under the defined benefit scheme (DBS), PTAD spokesperson, Olugbenga Ajayi, said.

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Business

Adamawa Begins Payment Of Outstanding Gratuity To Retirees

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Medugu who made the disclosure to journalists in Yola, said that the State and Local Government Councils jointly contribute N14 million monthly for the payments.

He explained that the amount being contributed monthly for settlement of the retirees’ gratuity would also help to cushion the hardship occasioned by COVID-19.”

So far, Government has settled the gratuity of about 6,300 local government retirees.

“And on monthly basis, State and Local Government’s Councils are contributing about N14 million for the payment of the gratuity.”

“According to our records, 989 local government Pensioners are not receiving their monthly pension, this is as a result of recent verification exercise,” he said.

Medugu urged the affected pensioners to be patient as the board was working to ensure that those mistakenly omitted  in the payment were integrated into the system.

Similarly, Chairman of Adamama State Pension Board, Mr Thomas Mahdi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, had approved N1.5 billion for payment of gratuities.

Mahdi said that the payment of the arrears of gratuity to State Government retirees affected those who retired between 2009 and 2012.

“The payments are categorised based on Senior Ma

 

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Pension

Fayemi Charges Pensioners On COVID-19 Protocols

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In order to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has  cautioned elderly citizens in the state to avoid large gathering, maintain physical distancing and adhere strictly to other safety protocols established for this purpose.
This is coming following the global resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor stated this in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while presenting 100 million naira cheque for payment of gratuities to 41 local government and primary school retirees in the State.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, said payment of the gratuities was in fulfilment of his promises to ensure that pensioners enjoy a worthy life after their meritorious service to the State.
Dr Fayemi reiterated his commitment to prioritising issues that affect the welfare and well being of pensioners with an assurance to sustain the techniques adopted in defraying outstanding gratuities in the State.
He promised to continue to utilize his position as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum in leading a frontal advocate that would position issues and policies affecting pensioners on the front burner of government agenda.
While assuring that Government would continue to try its best in making life comfortable for retirees, Dr Fayemi urged the beneficiaries to expend the money on profitable ventures.
Speaking on the rising cases of covid-19 across the world, the Governor stressed the need for old people who were considered as one of the most vulnerable age group to take personal responsibility in observing measures put in place to curtail the spread of the infection.
He said: “You have laboured for Ekiti State and now you are to collect the fruit of your labour and it speaks to the commitment of the government at ensuring that gratuity and pension are paid as at when due.
“It saddens the heart of the Governor that many retirees that served their fatherland had not been paid their entitlement.
“The Governor is desirous of leading a frontal attack on all the liabilities that our pensioners are due for both in Ekiti State and as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
“Pensions and gratuities payment would continue to be on the front burner of the Government policies as long as you have the governor piloting the affairs of this state and pensioners can go to bed knowing fully well that issues that affect their welfare and well being will continue to get primary attention of this government.
“I can assure that before this Government winds down there would be more batches many people that have not been paid would be paid. My advice is that as we collect this we should make judicious use of it.
“I will advise also that as we celebrate Christmas and New year we should be guided and be reminded that COVID-19 is back
“And science tells us that the second wave is deadlier than the first wave, from history we learnt that the second wave is always more turbulent, so I will advise our people to observe social distancing, to watch their hands and observe other identified Covid-19 protocol. If it is not compulsory for us to go anywhere as we celebrate Christmas and New year let us stay at home.”
Also, in a related development, Governor Fayemi officially laid the foundation of the new Secretariat Complex of the union in Ado Ekiti. Performing the event, the Governor assured of his support in the timely completion of the project.
Earlier, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Ekiti, Elder Ayo Kumapayi commended the Governor for his policy on the payment of pensions and gratuities which had allowed members to fulfil their financial commitment to the union.
According to him, the new office complex is designed to accommodate an office, ICT section, a health section and a kitchen for the betterment of the members of the union.
Elder Kumapayi disclosed that the funding of the various projects which his administration embarked upon were drawn majorly from check-off dues deduction.

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