ABOUT 400 ghost pensioners across the 33 local government areas of Oyo State have so far been identified in the ongoing verification exercise of the state government, just as N880 million is to be disbursed for payment of primary school and local government pensioners.
Caretaker Chairman, Ibadan North West, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, who disclosed these, on Tuesday, added that N6.2 billion had been released for the payment of June, July and August salaries of primary school teachers in the state.
Speaking with regards to Monday’s 14-day ultimatum by the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) to the state Ministry of Local Government to pay 35 months pension arrears and entitlements, Olatunbosun appealed to the pensioners not to be confrontational, but rather understand the financial position of the state government.
He further attributed the irregularity in payment of pension arrears to the national pension scam and strain in resources at the disposal of the state.
“What the government is doing is to verify the number of retired persons since 2008 and that exercise has enabled the government to discover 400 ghost pensioners. The government is sensitive to the plight of pensioners and ensures that monthly it sends certain amount of money to the pension board. We are here today because of actions of certain people evident in the N6.8 billion scam.
“We understand the plight of retired primary school teachers and local government pensioners and we appeal to the pensioners not to be confrontational with the state government. We implore them to be on the same page with the state government. We cannot be insensitive to the plight of the pensioners.
“There was delay in allocation for two months because we could not hold JAAC meeting during the last strike. After the last strike, three months allocation, June, July and August, was approved for release. SUBEB got N2.06 billion monthly from the allocation. When that sum is deducted from about N3.1 billion monthly, there is little money available to pay local government staff and pensioners in our respective local governments.
“N6.2 billion has been released for the payment of June, July and August salary of primary school teachers and they would get their monies before the end of work tomorrow. Also, N880 million was released for primary school and local government pensioners. We had our last meeting on Friday where this was approved.”