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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Ondo govt pays N1bn gratuity arrears to primary school, LG retirees

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Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State has paid N1 billion as the gratuity arrears of 2012 retirees of the local government and primary school teachers.

Aiyedatiwa, while flagging-off the bulk payment of outstanding gratuities to the pensioners, said that the gesture was an avowed commitment of his administration towards the welfare of the retirees.

He explained that the gesture was a rare privilege to put smiles on the faces of senior citizens who had served meritoriously in the state public service.

“It is remarkable that this is happening again within these few months of my assumption of office as governor.

“You would recall that in November 2023, the First Batch of this innovative bulk payment of outstanding gratuities of our former Local Government Staff and Primary School Teachers was carried out.

“In January 2024, another flag-off of payment of one billion and two hundred million Naira was also performed right here for the year 2014 pensioners of the State Civil Service.

“These payments altogether, provided a great relief for a large number of our senior citizens, thus serving as a motivation for us to decide on yet another batch within a few months,” he stated.

He promised that the leftover arrears of the retirees would also be wholly settled.

According to him, the welfare of retirees is not negotiable and pensions shall be paid continually on monthly basis.

“It is in furtherance of our avowed commitment that we are gathered to flag-off the payment of a bulk payment of N1 billion to continue the defrayal of outstanding gratuity to pensioners who retired after meritorious services in our dear state,” he said.

The governor said his administration had changed the narrative by ensuring that gratuities were paid without any political coloration or any influence from the corridor of power.

Aiyedatiwa said his administration was emplacing a system that would ensure payment of gratuity on the basis of year of exiting the public service.

“We have a sacred duty to ensure that pensioners are considered for payment of gratuity largely on verifiable criteria and indices that embrace equity, justice, fairness and good conscience.

“It is, therefore, not out of place to admonish you to utilise your money judiciously making your health and welfare a priority.

“We encourage pensioners who do not fall within this bracket to keep hope alive as it will surely get to their turn.

“Our administration will not rest on its laurels as we owe a sacred duty to maximise the happiness and welfare of our people.

“It is at the core of our agenda that no senior citizen, who after a meritorious service to our dear State, should go to bed hungry,” he stated.

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