Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Osinowo has declared that the state government is not owing pensioners in the state.
Reacting to media reports of the protest staged by some members of the Association of Local Government Pensioners on Thursday, demanding payment of their unpaid pensions, Osinowo said, “the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration is known for always placing the welfare of senior citizens on the front burner and therefore does not owe them any arrears of their monthly pensions.
“All pensioners in Ogun State have been paid up till May 2016, while we are currently processing the payment of their June pensions”, the commissioner said.
Mr. Osinowo explained that Thursday’s protest by local government pensioners was regrettable. He attributed it to a communication gap between the leadership of the pensioners’ union and the Ministry of Finance.
“Unknown to the protesting local government pensioners, we had effected the payment of their monthly pensions for the month of May about 48 hours before they stormed my office.
“The reason they didn’t know was because as at the time they came to my office, the payment was yet to hit their individual accounts,” Osinowo said.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Finance added that it was not difficult for him to explain this to the protesting pensioners, as there were documentary evidences to prove the fact that the money had been paid.
“I also called the banks in their presence and they confirmed that they were working on ensuring that the payments hit their individual accounts.
By today, (Friday), I can confirm that a lot of the pensioners have received alert for their payments,” Osinowo said.
Speaking on backlog of gratuities, the Finance Commissioner explained that the present administration inherited a backlog of unpaid gratuities from the previous administration and it has so far reduced this backlog considerably.
“We are making efforts to fully pay the backlog within available resources. Unfortunately, due to the current economic crisis, we have had to prioritise the regular payment of monthly pensions for our senior citizens while we ensure that the backlogs are paid in accordance with the cash flow situation of the state”, parts of the statement read.