By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Retired primary school teachers in Oyo State on Monday asked the state government to pay their accumulation of pension arrears of 17 to 56 months and non-receipt of gratuities since 2008.
The retired Primary school teachers led by the Oyo state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo council, Mr Gbadegesin Akande early in the morning stormed the state government secretariat, Agodi in hundreds with placards to protest against the alleged uncared attitude of the state government to their plight.
During the protest, the retired primary school teachers threatened to mobile other pensioners in the state to embark on regular protests if the state government failed to attend to its demands.
Armed with placards having inscriptions such as “Our children are home, pay our allowances”, “Enough is Enough”, the retired teachers said as at present, Oyo state government only pay them January 2017 pension this November.
Oyo state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr Akande while speaking referred to a July 2014 directive of Governor Abiola Ajimobi directive on modalities for regular payment of pensions, but lamented that it was unfortunate that the directive was not heeded to leading to accumulated pensions and gratuities.
“While we plead with the Oyo government to quickly accede to the demands of these retired primary school teachers, our union will not hesitate to call out all pensioners out on sympathy for these teachers as well as request that demands of our pensioners which the government had refused to address over the years be met,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, NUP Oyo, Mr Olusegun Abatan in his comment disclosed that retired primary school teachers received a monthly pension of N219 million as against the required sum of about N450 million, hence the accumulation, saying, “the arrears would not have continued to accumulate if government paid 100 per cent of pensions monthly rather than varying percentages.
The state Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo while addressing the protesting retired primary school teachers urged them to remain patient for government to attend to the issues, saying the non payment of their gratuities was not intentionally but as a result of the
economic challenges and embezzlement of government funds overtime,.
The Deputy governor assured the protesting retired teachers that said the state would examine the issues with a view to resolving them.