The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Ekiti state has launched a N10 million welfare fund for distressed members of the union in the state.
Speaking during the launch in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the NUP Chairman, Elder Ayo Kumapayi, said that the welfare fund was meant to cater for members of the union who were medically or physically distressed.
He disclosed that N5 million would be reserved for retirees in the state and the remaining for pensioners in the local government.
According to him, ” It is a fund designed to ease the discomfort of our disabled and bedridden pensioners both local government and state pensioners.
” Those who have been confined to their beds. It is a way of alleviating their sufferings. It is the union that is funding it. We have provided N10million, N5million for each sector of the pensioners and we have already issued cheques of N50,000 each to 80 pensioners. It is a union activity just to identify with our members.”
He commended the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi for his welfarist programmes in the last twelve months and his efforts in restoring the values of the state.
Speaking during the launch, the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, the Governor said government’s interest in the welfare of the senior citizens was the motivation behind the relaunch of the Social Security Scheme for the elders otherwise known as ‘Owo Arugbo’
According to him, his administration placed a premium on pensioners’ welfare was responsible for setting aside of N100 million monthly to clear the backlog of gratuity arrears to give the retirees a new lease of life.
He said: “We have consistently paid workers’ salaries alongside pensions, bearing in mind that payment of salaries and pension will boost the economy of the state. The Iyalojas will have increased patronage and rents would be paid as and when due to landlords.
“You mentioned gratuity, if Mr Governor is not going to do anything, he will not promise, he has promised that he will pay your gratuity arrears, we are already paying gradually, we will defray your arrears, we have made you our priorities.
‘’What you are doing today is a very unique, you are giving five thousand naira to about 80 people, that is a lot of money, we have observed that since you came to power things have changed for our pensioners.” He said.