Gov. Kayode Fayemi
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti said on Monday that his administration would soon put in place creative measures aimed at clearing the backlog of pensioners’ gratuities.
According to him, the era when pensioners will cry or pray before getting what is statutorily due to them on monthly basis is over.
Fayemi who spoke at a meeting with the executive members of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), expressed displeasure at the condition of the pensioners, noting that it was a consequence of non-payment of their gratuities and irregularity in payment of pension.
The pensioners led by their chairman, Ayo Kumapayi, had visited the governor to congratulate him on his recent victory at the Court of Appeal which had affirmed his election.
The governor said his administration had effected a 100 per cent increase in the fund meant for gratuity payment.
According to him, the sum has been increased from N10 million to N100million monthly in order to capture more pensioners in the process.
“What we are doing right now is mainly a stop gap measure to ensure that the number of people who can access gratuity increases because how many retirees can N10million cater for even if it is N2 million gratuity that everyone is entitled to? Then barely four people would benefit,’’ he said
Fayemi also restated the resolve of his administration to establish recreational facilities for the elderly.
“I am particularly pleased that you are taking a broader look at support mechanism for your members.
“A wellness centre is a very well thought out idea and I recall that we’ve discussed at some point the possibility of a facility as a home. Of course, we are not used to the white man’s attitude of going to a home.
“We want to take care of our elderly in our own way as much as possible through facilities that can be a community for elderly pensioners and used for recreational purposes.
“So your wellness centre definitely is something that can fit into that idea of a recreational facility for pensioners and the elderly in Ekiti State
“I also find the idea of your type of early child’s scheme for pensioners who are obviously over 60 years reasonable , I think it’s a great idea and we have to explore that,’’ he said.
Earlier, Kumapayi said the purpose of the visit was to felicitate with the governor on his victory at the Appeal Court as well as appreciate him for his support to pensioners so far.
Ikumapayi commended the government for prompt payment of pension allowances and approval of immediate increase in the monthly gratuity fund from N10million to N100million monthly.
According to him, the gesture has allowed for more retirees to be catered for every month.
He, however, appealed to government to support the pensioners by establishing a wellness centre for retirees to enable them to live long after retirement.