Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, on Wednesday, paid a total sum of N500 million to some state and local government retirees.
Presenting cheques to the retirees at Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the governor apologised on behalf of the past administration for the delay in the payment of their gratuities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor had, in an agreement between government and labour leaders, promised to be paying N500 million quarterly as gratuities to the pensioners.
Abiodun, who noted that many of the payments were inherited liabilities from the past government, assured that the process of paying the gratuities had started and would definitely continue.
He said that the N500 million, presented to 257 beneficiaries, represented the quarterly payment of gratuity to them.
“This is a promise made and promise kept. I promise to do this on quarterly basis.
“We are gradually getting out of the economics of COVID-19 and it is just reasonable that as we give other sectors of the economy due attention for their post COVID-19 sustainability, our elder statesmen and women also deserve due attention.
“Apart from the payment of monetary entitlements, let me also assure our elder statesmen and women that we are committed to providing other opportunities for them under our social welfare scheme.
“I enjoin our dear elders to take advantage of our administration’s various social intervention programmes.
“For those of you, who are into micro and small businesses, you can key into ‘Okowo Dapo’, a micro-credit scheme that provides a window for women to access financial resources.
“It empowers our people to expand their micro and small businesses,” he said.
The governor also urged the retirees to continue in their support, cooperation and prayers, not only for the successful implementation of government programmes, but also, for the continued development of the state.
“As retirees, you have served Ogun, you are an embodiment of wisdom and no responsible government will toy with its source of wisdom.
“We enjoin you to continue to put forward your contributions and elderly advice at all times,” he said.
Earlier, the state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Waheed Oloyede, commended the governor for the gesture.
Oloyede, however, appealed to Abiodun to increase the payment of gratuities to N1billion quarterly.