L-R: Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun exchanging pleasantries with Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta

The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has congratulated Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on the occasion of his 60th birthday, which falls on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

While felicitating with Professor Osinbajo, the Governor in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Adejuwon Soyinka on Tuesday, said, “today, as always, we celebrate the grace of God on you and your family.”

Amosun added, “your selfless service to humanity and the nation at large as well as the many achievements you have recorded in both personal and public life, are some of the reasons we cannot but celebrate you on this occasion of your birthday.”

The Governor also seized the opportunity of the occasion to pray that the Almighty God should continue to preserve Professor Osinbajo for many more years in good health and sound mind.

“We pray that the Almighty God will preserve and grant you more wisdom and grace to continue to make significant contributions to the overall development of Nigeria,” Amosun said.

Meanwhile, 29 days after Amosun approved the release of the sum of N12.5billion for the payment of the State civil servants’ backlog of salary deductions, arrears, pension and gratuities to retirees, the affected retirees are yet to be paid their gratuities.

It would be recalled that the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa at a Press Conference on Wednesday December, 21 in Abeokuta, disclosed that “Out of the 12.5billion, N6billion would be used to clear the backlog of gratuities of the retirees from November 2012 to January 2014.
But up till today, some of the affected retirees were yet to receive their gratuities.
Some of them are seriously lamenting the difficulties they are passing through to get paid.
Lamenting about the situation, a retiree who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “in December, when we got the news that the Governor has approved the release of some amount of money as payment of our gratuities, we were very happy, we thought finally, after the long wait and after working for the State government for a long time, we will be paid.”
“But since them, government bureaucracy has prevented us from getting paid on time. Some of us are really suffering, we are old and tired, we no longer have the strength to make earns meet. Some of us have even turned into begging. We are seriously appealing to the people in charge to please do something about this. We don’t want to die before our money is released,” he added.
However, on Wednesday, December 28, the government paid N1.5billion as severance allowance to 663 former political appointees that served in the State.
Speaking on the issue, Mr. Bola Lawal, the Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, (NUP) confirmed that none of the affected retirees had been paid and the government has not given any specific reason for the delay.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of Bureau of State Pension, Mr. Tunde Agbaje in a release yesterday in Abeokuta, directed all affected pensioners “whose gratuity fall between July – December 2012 to confirm their names on the notice board of the Bureau of State Pensions and Bureau  of Local Government Pensions (whichever one is applicable) before proceeding to the office of the Accountant-General for their gratuity cheque with effect from Wednesday 18th January,  2017 betweeen 9.00AM and 4.00AM (Monday to Friday).”
Agbaje disclosed that those affected were about 2,000 and that his office was still working on them and that all the those affected would be paid very soon.
He, therefore appealed to the pensioners to exercise patience saying “after the approval there are some procedures, some paper work, we have to do.”
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