Gov. Seyi Makinde

Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has promised to pay the state pensioners’ gratuity backlog of N45 billion before the expiration of his first term in office.

Gov. Seyi Makinde

Oyo state commissioner for information, culture and tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun said in a press statement on Sunday that the governor made the vow in Abuja, where he was honored with an award of excellence by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners.

Represented at the event by Idowu Ogedengbe, the governor’s executive assistant, administration and general services, Makinde said his administration met N56 billion in unpaid gratuity to pensioners, adding that already, more than N11 billion of the amount has been paid.

The governor said: “When we came into administration in May 2019, we promised the people to serve them with sincerity, probity and accountability, we promised to run a government of inclusiveness and we are very mindful to let the people know the challenges we were facing when we came into office.

“We had quite a huge liability of arrears; pensioners’ gratuity was amounting to about N56 billion and we did not want to give any excuse for non-performance. We decided to start off-setting these gratuities and as of today, we have paid out of that amount, N11.7 billion, which translates to an average of over N500million every month, we desire to do more because it is our firm belief as an administration that you do not muzzle the mouth of the horse that trashes the corn.

“Our pensioners deserve the best, they have used their active years to serve the state, now that they are out of service, we owe them the responsibility to ensure that they live a good life.

“Our desire is to ensure we clear all the backlog as soon as it is possible and to ensure that we do not leave any outstanding gratuity to future administration. Initially, a sum of N100 million was committed towards payment of pension monthly, we increased it to N180 million in June 2019 and as at January 2021, it has been increased to N235 million monthly.”

While presenting the award to the governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Kano state who was the chairman of the occasion praised Makinde for being sincere with pensioners in Oyo state.

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