by Segun Odeleye
In Osun state on Friday, pensioners protested against the state government over the delay in the payment of their gratuities and pension.
The aged men and women, about 2,000 in number, took to the streets and marched through the popular Osogbo-Gbongan expressway to the Osun State secretariat at Abere. They disrupted vehicular movement for several hours.
They carried placards and inscriptions and accused the Rauf Aregbesola led APC government of deliberately causing unnecessary hardship for the retired civil servants in the state.
According to Tunde Ogunniyi, the spokesman of the pensioners, 15 pensioners have so far lost their lives due to the delay in the payment of their gratuities and pension.
But the Osun state government, through the commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, denied that the government has been insensitive to the plight of the pensioners. He said that government has instead been magnanimous on the issue of pension in the state, stressing that “the government had increased the amount of monthly pension to N430 million from N220 million.”
He observed that majority of the retired workers have failed to process their pension authority papers in good time which has led to the delay in the payment of their pension.
According to him, “Subsequent to 2012 massive voluntary retirement, the Osun State government has increased the amount of monthly pension to N430m from N220m. But before they can be paid, the office of Head of Service (HOS) will have to issue them papers authorising them to collect their pension. But in a situation where they didn’t start the procedure on time, the processing could take a longer time.”