*Gov raises hope on backlog of gratuity arrears
By John Odunjo
For pensioners in Ekiti State, it is yet another time for smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts as Governor Biodun Oyebanji distributed gratuity cheques of N150 million to another batch of retired local government workers and primary school teachers in the state.
The payment to the 64 beneficiaries came barely three months after the governor presented N130 million gratuity cheques to another batch of retired local government workers and primary school teachers.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of pensioners, Elder Joel Akinola, in his goodwill address, appreciated the governor “for being a promise keeper and someone who takes welfare of the elderly very serious”.
Also, a senior citizen, Mr Sunday Adeosun, who spoke on behalf of beneficiaries, expressed gratitude to the governor “for walking his talk and for keeping to his campaign promises”.
Adeosun assured Oyebanji that senior citizens in the state would continue to support and pray for his administration.
Governor Oyebanji, who handed over the cheques to the beneficiaries, said his administration would continue to prioritize the welfare of all Ekiti citizens especially the workers while in active service and at retirement.
He said, “Today’s ceremony is coming in fulfillment of our promise to always make you smile at each milestone of the journey of the mandate you gave me as your governor. As we are marking the 300 days anniversary of our administration, I am pleased to announce the disbursement of N150 million as gratuity to retired local government workers and teachers.
“It is important to place on record that since the inception of our administration in October 2022, we have paid a total sum of N605.9 million as gratuities to 189 retired local government workers and primary school teachers.
“With God on our side, we will continue to do more. Be rest assured that this administration would continue to place high premium on the payment of pension and gratuity as and when due.
“I stand before you today to reiterate the commitment of our administration to the welfare of all Ekiti citizens. We are passionately committed to utilizing available resources to the greatest advantage, pleasure, and comfort of our people” .he added.
On clearing the backlog of gratuity arrears in the state, Oyebanji said that his administration was making efforts to address the situation and that very soon the state would get out of the woods.
The governor expressed his government’s passionate commitment to utilizing available resources to the greatest advantage, pleasure and comfort of all Ekiti people.
He congratulated the beneficiaries and charged them to utilize the money wisely, saying their wellbeing should be of utmost importance and paramount to them.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Chief Folorunsho Olabode, thanked the governor for prioritizing the wellbeing of the senior citizen.
Olabode urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the money, adding that others on the waiting list will smile very soon.
Also at the event were the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro; and Head of Service, Engr. Sunday Komolafe, among others.