Pensioners lock up commissioner, workers over outstanding arrears

There was mild drama on Thursday afternoon, as pensioners in the local government stormed the Ministry of Finance, in Ogun State, locked up the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Adewale Osinowo and other workers of the ministry, over outstanding pension arrears.

The retirees, under the umbrella of Association of Local Government Pensioners blocked the entrances leading to the ministry, demanding payment of their May and June 2016 pensions.

They were said to have been angered following an attempt by Osinowo to sneak out of the office of the Accountant-General, having sighted them.

The retirees, led by its chairman, Sikiru Ayilara, partially paralysed activities at the ministry; this development forced the commissioner to come out of his hide-out to attend to them.

They claimed that no fewer than 60 of its members had died in the last two months.

The commissioner, after about 30 minutes, came out and immediately went into a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the association while others stayed back.

Two members who stayed back fainted and were quickly revived by those around.

The commissioner, while addressing newsmen after the meeting, said the delay in payment of May pensions was as a result of communication gap between the ministry and the pensioners.

He said the money had been paid to the bank handling their account.

The commissioner assured that it would ensure that the bank comply with the directive to pay them within the shortest period of time.

He said, “It was a family meeting, a communication gap at that, we have paid the money since yesterday (Wednesday) and same has been transferred to the bank but the Bureau failed to communicate with them.

“I have called the bank and they have all seen that the money has been paid, the fund has left us and I am not going to leave office today until the bank credits their accounts.”