By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State on Wednesday disclosed that his administration has spent about N35billion on payment of pensions and gratuities of retired workers in the state since 2018.
Oyetola hinted that the administration has consistently released N509 million on a monthly basis to cater for pensioners under the Old Pension Scheme, while not leaving out those on the Contributory Pension Scheme.
He reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to continuously uplifting the living standard of all categories of workers by taking their welfare as the topmost priority.
This is even as the governor presented bond certificates to some retirees in the State.
Speaking during the special lecture organised by the state’s civil servants through the Office of the Head of Service to celebrate Osun 2021 Civil Service Week at the Staff Development Centre, State Government Secretariat, Osogbo, the governor said the government recently released N1,64billion for the payment of outstanding pension and gratuity of retired civil servants.
He said the administration has been living up to its constitutional and fundamental responsibilities to guarantee the security of lives and property of the citizens and as well ensure the people’s welfare since the inception in 2018 in spite of the depressed economy.
The governor who described civil service as the engine room of government, noted that the administration would not relent in its avowed commitment to continuously pay workers’ entitlements despite the harsh economic conditions arising from national economic challenges.
Speaking on the lecture whose theme centred on tertiary education and innovating the Civil Service in the State, Governor Oyetola said it is heart-warming that the topic is a direct invitation to re-tooling the civil service to comply with the demands of the knowledge-and technology-driven 21st Century for national and global competitiveness as well as optimum performance and efficient service delivery.
He noted that the themes of the lecture also reflected the dire need at the moment and what government must do to achieve the Osun of its forebears’ dream.
Earlier, the Head of Service, Dr. Festus Olowogboyega Oyebade, thanked the governor for standing by the workers, active and retired to promote the dignity of labour.
In their separate remarks, the pioneer President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, and pioneer Secretary to the State Government/Head of Service, Chief Moses Inaolaji Aboaba, commended Governor Oyetola for not defaulting on the payment of salaries and pensions since assumption of office.
The duo also expressed gratitude to the state government for sustaining the payment of full wages, salaries and pensions, saying the gesture has been a motivating factor not only to the civil servants who are the direct beneficiaries and the entire residents.