The Osun State Government has called on protesting pensioners to be patient with it even as it maintained that it was doing everything to review their demands.
Addressing the journalist after the dispersal of the protesters at the State Secretariat on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode asked that the pensioners to show understanding and patient with the state government because since it was inaugurated in 2018, it had never defaulted in the payment of pensions and gratuities including those of contributory pensioners.
She also asked that the state government was also making efforts to gradually clear the backlogs it inherited adding that government representatives and leaders of the pensioners had met on Thursday, October 14.
Egbomode disclosed that after the meeting, the pensioners among other things, requested government to do an upward review of the monthly releases to cater for pensioners in the State.
According to her, "Both parties agreed at that meeting to reconvene on November 29, to present government position and chart a way forward so as to continue to guarantee industrial peace in the state.
"I am surprised at the protest which is 34 clear days ahead of the adjourned meeting date. The government is further urging the pensioners not to lend themselves to cheap blackmailers."
Recall that the Osun State contributory pensioners had earlier embarked on a protest to demand the payment of the gratuities, entitlements and contributory pension arrears since 2016.
This protest is coming after the state government in an earlier statement announced that it had made available the sum of N300 million as pension arrears.
The statement which was made available by the Osun Head Of Service, Festus Oyebade, also revealed that the fund is aside the statutory remittance that the governor makes available monthly.
The statutory remittance it was revealed is the sum of N508 million approved for the payment of retired civil servants and an additional sum of N150 million approved for the payment of retirees under the contributory pensions scheme.