The National Union of Pensioners, Ekiti State, has commended the state government for increasing pension allocation for payment of gratuity to its senior citizens.
The State Chairman, NUP, Ekiti State Council, Ayo Kumapayi, also urged the governor to extend the gesture to the local governments in the state too.
He said, “On the payment of gratuities, we wish to acknowledge with avidity and profound gratitude, the resolve of Ekiti State Government to increase, in the short-run, the allocation for the payment of gratuities to Civil Service Pensioners from N10m to N100m per month.
“Since what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, we passionately appeal to our listening governor to use his political will in influencing the Ekiti State Local Government Administration to instantly replicate the monthly payment of gratuities to local government pensioners with an equivalent sum of at least N100m per month. We hereby advise the Ekiti State Government to expedite its strategies on how to liquidate all outstanding gratuities without much delay.”
In a statement, he said the union had noted with admiration the payment of its monthly pension rates since October 2018 when Dr Kayode Fayemi assumed duties as the governor of Ekiti State.
“We thank the governor for paying the monthly emoluments of public servants and pensioners without any discrimination whatsoever. We strongly believe that the outstanding arrears of salaries and pensions will be paid as the finances of Ekiti State improve,” he said.
While speaking on the stoppage of five per cent of the Federal Government counterpart funding to local government pension fund, he recalled that in 1987, the federal military government of Nigeria evolved a tripartite policy in respect of Local Government pension fund.
According to the policy, he said, the three tiers of the government in Nigeria — federal, state and local government — were supposed to contribute five per cent, 2.5 per cent and 15 per cent respectively to the Local Government Pension Fund.
After the military regime, he said the succeeding civilian government operated the policy until it was arbitrarily stopped in 2010 without regard to the consequences of the stoppage.
He said, “Regrettably, the stoppage has adversely affected the regular payment of monthly pensions and gratuities to the Local Government pensioners and primary school pensioners hitherto paid from the counterpart fund account.
“We passionately plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to reinstate the five per cent counterpart fund payable by the Federal Government to all the 774 Local Government Pension Boards in Nigeria in the interest of the affected pensioners.”