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Osun pensioners protest 8 months unpaid benefits

Osun pensioners protest 8 months unpaid benefits
June 10
23:08 2015
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Pensioners in Osun state on Wednesday staged a protest to the state house of assembly ‎in Osogbo over the non-payment of their claims in the last eight months.

The protesters said they decided to storm the assembly to draw the attention of the legislators to their plight.

Addressing journalists during the demonstration, Gabriel Adesoji, the state secretary of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), lamented that they resorted to the action as a result of the hardship that had befallen their members.

Adesoji said that is their only source of income after retirement.

On his part, J.A. Olunlade, chairman of NUP in Osun, regretted that many of his colleagues have died as a result of lack of money to carter to themselves.

“Till the time of this demonstration, pensioners in Osun state are yet to be paid pensions from November 2014,” he said.

“Empty promises  and insensitivity of the government to the plight of pensioners have led to the untimely death of many and inability of many to meet their financial obligations.”

Responding Taiwo Adeyemi, deputy chief whip of the assembly, acknowledged their plight but said government was doing its best to fulfill its obligation to them.

“We are not happy about the situation but there is nothing we can really do for now than to appeal to them to exercise patience,” he told journalists.

Adeyemi said the legislators and the governor would soon hold a meeting over the issue.

Aregbesola ran into financial crisis a few months after his re-election. The state civil servants are also being owed seven months salaries.

He has been appealing for understanding, blaming the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan for the situation.

On Tuesday, the governor expressed regret but assured the workers that he would do his best to redeem the situation.

“The delay in salary pains me a lot and when I reflect on the travails of the people I feel sad about it,” he had said.

“There are natural disasters caused by forces and there are economic disasters caused by factors above human powers. In our circumstance, what is available to us as allocation is less than what is needed to meet our statutory obligation however prudent we have been.

“‎For four years, the gross total income accrued to our state is N204bn and this can be contrasted to N206bn, which is the total statutory obligation of the state for four years. What this means is that even without money for capital projects and overhead cost this amount collected could not sustain the states statutory obligations and we did not just wake up to find ourselves in this problem. It was occasioned by the mismanagement of the nation’s economy for six years by the past administration.”

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