I Inherited N68bn Arrears, Abiodun Tells Pensioners

I Inherited N68bn Arrears, Abiodun Tells Pensioners

Segun Ayinde, Abeokuta

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State yesterday faulted pensioners over the N500 million quarterly payment of outstanding gratuities.

Pensioners had rejected the release of N500 million quarterly being paid by the current administration to offset outstanding gratuities, insisting that it would take 34 years to clear the N68 billion arrears.

But Abiodun, while reacting to their stand in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said the backlog of gratuities were owed by the previous administration.

He also urged the Nigeria Labour Congress not to condemn his government over the N500 million quarterly payment, saying if his predecessors had done the same, they would have defrayed over N16 billion out of the money.

The governor asked the leaders of pensioners to be wary of their remarks on the state of pension liability, especially against an administration that prioritises their welfare.

He divulged that the payments were all inherited liabilities from past governments, noting that the process of paying it cannot be faulted.

“As a follow-up to the promise made in 2021 to pay at least N500 million quarterly out of the outstanding gratuities owed by previous administrations since 2011, we have been religiously paying as at when due.

“Government has redeemed the pledge by making the Q1 payment of N500 million, thereby making a total of N2.5 billion. Another one is due and there is nothing that will stop that for the second quarter of this year.

“If our predecessors had done the same since 2011, more than N16 billion would have been defrayed,” Abiodun said

He thanked the pensioners for their patience and understanding, stating that his administration cannot pay all the pensioners owed before he assumed office in just three years.

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