“It befuddles me when I hear some people, who have deliberately refused to acknowledge the good works of our dear Governor, say that regular payment of monthly salaries of active Civil/Public Servants, as well as pensions and gratuities of retirees is no big deal; in fact, to the detractors of the present administration in the Pacesetter State, ‘it’s not an achievement at all’. I now ask them what parameters do they use to measure achievements? If a Government could spend a whole eight years in power, yet could not pay up to just a billion naira within the eight years to retirees for their take-home, would you refer to that as an achievement or failure? ”
This poser was released by the special adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Labour Matters, a former labour leader and retired permanent secretary in the State civil service, Comrade Sikirullahi Bayo Titilola-Sodo, at the flag off ceremony of the distribution of the 7th tranche of gratuity cheques of one billion naira only, to retired primary school teachers and Local Government staff, numbering about 436.
Speaking further on the occasion, Comrade Sodo said, “Since the inception of GSM administration, His Excellency had paid as gratuity #8.29 billion at the Local Government level, and #5.4 billion at the State level, totalling #13.69 billion thus far. The interesting aspect of it is that solid infrastructure are still being put in place, without compromising quality and standard. Kindly check the Adamasingba sports complex being renovated with international standard touch, and which will by God’s grace be commissioned this very week; the Moniya-Iseyin road, which is only comparable to Ilesa/Akure highway in terms of standard and quality; Oyo/Iseyin road, which although belongs to the Federal Government, yet is being rehabilitated for the use of our people; recruitment of 5,000 teachers into our public schools, 500 nurses into our clinics, as well as doctors recruited and placed on GL 13; sole ownership of LAUTECH, to mention just a few. All these achievements are visible even to the blind, but if some detractors have deliberately decided not to see them, then something is wrong somewhere with such people. ”
In their various goodwill messages, the Chairman of Ibadan North West Local Government and representative of ALGON at the event, Hon. Rahaman Adepoju; and Nigeria Union of Pensioners State assistant secretary, Comrade Banji Koleoso, both counseled the retirees on the imperative of making a judicious use of the money, avoid scammers, do their homework very well prior to venturing into any business at this time, and finally prayed for them that they would not spend the money on sickness or devourer.
In his keynote address, the Pension Board Chairman, Prince Bayo Adeyemi, appreciated the Almighty God for using Governor Seyi Makinde to put smiles on the faces of the lucky Pensioners who had laboured meritoriously for the service of Oyo State.
“It is indeed awesome, as the lives of our senior citizens will receive a boost occasioned by the magnanimous release of over one billion naira as the 7th tranche, by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde, the people’s governor, as this giant stride will greatly improve their lives positively towards having a better retirement life,” Hon. Adeyemi stated.
While rejoicing with the living beneficiaries, Prince Adeyemi also used the medium to commiserate with the families of those who are late, reminding them of the need to make a judicious use of the resources.
“For those with business plan, I urge you to be passionate about it, but for those without one, you are encouraged to employ the services of experts on how best to invest your money. It is our prayers that the Lord will prolong your lives in good health such that the Government will serve you more than you have served the Government, “Prince Adeyemi prayed.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Pension Board secretary Dr. Ayodele Busari, gave God the glory for granting the beneficiaries the grace to witness the auspicious occasion, after serving their state with all their vigour. Dr. Busari also enjoined the beneficiaries to eat well, rest well, reminding them that rest is always sweet after labour, and to always check their health status regularly, praying for them that they would not spend their retirement period in ailment, nor become a source of problem or devourer to their children. She also admonished them on the need to be wary of scammers, assuring them of adequate attention anytime they needed explanation, rather than falling prey to conmen.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Richard Olayiwola appreciated God for counting them worthy to receive their entitlements in their lifetime, praying for Governor Seyi Makinde to continue to soar higher and higher in and outside office.
The 7-day exercise which was flagged off on Monday at the main lobby of Water Corporation Building, Secretariat, Ibadan, had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Akin Funmilayo; the director of pension, office of the auditor general for Local Government, Mr. Salami; executive members of the State NUP, pension board management staff and other eminent personalities.