Pensioners in Osun State have expressed displeasure over the way and manner they are being treated by the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola with regard to their pensions arrears.
The pensioners who have threatened to apply legal means should the government fail to yield to their demands also accused Governor Oyetola and other agencies of government for not yielding to their plight despite uncountable series of reminders and efforts made in the past.
While appealing to the state government to apply the same method it adopted to successfully construct the Iconic Olaiya Flyover where over 2 billion naira was expended to pay their entitlement, the pensioners wanted the government to without delay, release enough funds to cater for the retirement benefits, modulated salary arrears outstanding and other deductions of pensioners in the state.
Addressing Journalists after a brief peaceful demonstration in Osogbo on Tuesday, Chairman, Joint Forum of Contributory Pensioners, Gbenga Oyadare said the Government has breached Contributory Pension Scheme Law in reference to sections 5(b) and 7, pages 18 and 19 of the Extant Osun State Contributory Pension Law of 2008.
Oyedare advised Governor Oyetola to apply for a 50 billion naira loan to offset their entitlement since he had claimed that the state is incapacitated to raise the fund itself.
Oyedare who accused Rauf Aregbesola, the former governor of the state and current Minister of Interior of deducting from their salary and refusing to remit it described his action as criminal and inhumane.
He, however, appealed to the state government to issue the contributory pensioners, letters of promotions that they were due for, while in the service of the state.
“These promotions should be equally monetized, to give the beneficiaries, a good sense of belonging, while still serving.”
He threatened that if the government failed to meet their demands, the pensioners would have no other option than to take the Osun government to court.
“To avoid any legal action, the government should pay the accrued of penal fine of at least 2% on the money deducted from our salaries including the government counterpart fund it failed to remit to our Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
"This is sequel to the state government running foul of the contributory pension law of Osun State as enacted by the parliament in 2008 with reference to sub-section 5b and 7, contained in pages 18 and 19.
"It was specified that the state Government, inter alia shall ensure that pensioners who leave or retire from the Public Service of the state receive their terminal benefits as, and when due.
"The government has continuously deprived us of our entitlements and thereby making life unbearable for the them and there family.
"We are of the opinion that the pension of this relevant law, grossly inadequate and intermittent remittances of Government counterpart funds have deprived the contributory pensioners, covered by the dates.
"It should be noted that fundings were made in 2018 and 2019 for retired contributory pensioners from 2016 to 2022, Six years after retirement.
“We want the state government and general public to note that the leadership of the entire members of the Joint Forum of Pensioners have been treading on the threshold of psychological and intellectual paths, such that our agitations for our well deserved retirement benefits should not be misconstrued as being used by any political party/group.
”We wish that the Government should note that for more than Six (6)years, majority of this category of state retirees have not received a dime as human beings, and Nigerians who had served their state and fatherland diligently for thirty five (35)years or 60/65 years of retirement age, we should be entitled to the fruits of our labour.
“The estimated total amount of the Half Salary Arrears owed by the state government to the contributory pensioners, is in excess of seven billion Naira.
“We served with black hair and we should not be begging with gray hair before we get our entitlement.
“Our members are dying because anytime they remember the millions of Naira they contributed while in the service without having access to it they break down.
"I can count the number of our people that have paralyzed, the number of people who have been amputated due to diabetes which they could not treat medically because of the fund and I can count the number of our colleagues who have died.
“To be at home six years without payment, this is very pathetic.
"Many of our children have been rusticated from Osun State University UNIOSUN because we could not pay their school fees. Until our entitlement is paid we would continue to shout.”
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