Pensioners in Oyo State have been presented gratuity cheques amounting to N1.3billion, on Monday.
The beneficiaries, that include 449 pensioners living and next-of-kins of 124 dead pensioners, are drawn from those primary school teachers that retired in 2011 and 2012 and from those local government workers that exited service in 2014 making a total of 573 recipients.
Mr Remi Ayodele, the Chairman, Local Government Staff Pension Board, while handed over the cheques, at the State Secretariat, Ibadan, encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the funds.
Ayodele explained Governor Seyi Makinde’s led government was determined to make payment of pensions and gratuities a priority notwithstanding reduced federal allocation and looming economic recession.
Mr Segun Abatan, the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Oyo State, reprimanded those who deride the state government for prioritising the payment of salaries and pensions.
He wondered if pensioners who were owed pensions and gratuities by the immediate past administration will now not put on their dancing shoes to celebrate payment of such monies by the Makinde administration.
Abatan also warned the beneficiaries against venturing into novel businesses and encouraged them to be prudent in spending.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Adediwura Mojisola, a retired director of community health, applauded the current administration for wiping away the tears of pensioners in the state.
The Permanent Secretary of the Local Government Staff Pension Board, Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo assured not only serving workers and pensioners but the general public, at large of care for their welfare by the Makinde administration.
Among others present were the Secretary, Local Government Staff Pension Board, Dr Busari Ayodele and the Chairman, Retired Primary School Teachers, Mr Dosu Akinpelu.