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Ekiti Government Reacts to Pensioners’ Gratuity Controversy

Dr Kayode Fayemi

Ekiti State Government on Thursday in its reaction to the controversy surrounding the payment of gratuity to its pensioners said the decision of the State Executive Council was that a 15 per cent deduction from the total sum payable to each pensioner was agreed with the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) and the financial firm in charge.

Clarifying, the state’s Special Adviser (Communications and Strategies), Mrs Sola-Salako-Ajulo, stated the government did not force pensioners to part with any fraction of their gratuity as the arrangement was optional.

She said those who needed gratuity immediately have been given the option of relinquishing 15 per cent of the sum while those who can wait till 2022 will receive their own in bulk without any deduction.

While stressing that the arrangement was an arrangement to ease the payment of gratuity, Mrs Salako-Ajulo said government’s lean resources could not cover about N13 billion pension liabilities they had accumulated over the years, hence the recourse to an arrangement with a financial institution broker the payment on behalf of the government.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the State government (SSG), Hon Biodun Oyebanji, has said four new ultramodern model secondary schools in Ado Ekiti, named after four Ekiti icons would be inaugurated during the anniversary.

He said the schools were projects were embarked upon after a careful study of pupil-teacher ratio in the state capital.

He added that they were established by the government to meet the needs of various segments of the population, bring education nearer to new neighbourhoods and give children of the less privileged better access to education.

Speaking on the delay in the resumption of newly recruited workers, the state’s Head of Service (HoS), Mrs Babafemi said the exercise was disrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19 as they were due to resume work in April 2020.

The Head of Service explained that the issue of recruitment of new workers would be concluded before the year runs out while junior officers presently at home as part of health precautions would resume work very soon.

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