Despite the financial constraint of the Osun State government, it has expressed its commitment to fulfil its obligation to the contributory pension scheme by remitting all dues as soon as funds are available.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola made the pledge while issuing out N1.47billion bond certificates to 188 retirees in the Primary school and Local Government under the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state.
While presenting the certificates to the beneficiaries of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) at a programme held at Local Government Service Commission Multipurpose Hall, Governor Aregbesola who was represented by the Head of Service, Mr Sunday Owoeye assured that better days are on the way for the pensioners in the state.
The beneficiaries are the second batch who received the bonds certificate under the Contributory Pension Scheme. The state government had earlier given out N593million bond certificates in December 2014 under the first batch of the scheme.
His words: “we shall fulfill our obligations to contributory pension scheme by remitting all dues as soon as funds are available to us”.
“We regard our pensioners as senior citizens whose welfare is paramount to us. If we can set up ‘Agba Osun’ to take care of our elderly, why won’t we take care of our retirees?, the governor stated.
He however debunked accusation by some retirees that the government had diverted the bail out funds, saying “it is unfortunate the attempt by a very tiny section of the retirees to politicize their own affairs and thereby play into the hands of the opposition.
The governor also noted that his administration has increased the monthly pension from 200 million naira in 2010 to 520 million naira in 2013, adding “though we had started lagging behind in 2014 on pension payment, we still committed a total of #4.9 billion to pensions.
He stressed that his administration has implemented 140 per cent increase in pension, promising that efforts are on to implement the upgrading of all pensioners earning below #10,000 as soon as the finances of the state are buoyant.
Earlier in his welcome address, the permanent secretary, Bureau of Local Government Staff Pension, Mr Kayode Aliu Afolabi, noted that the Contributory Pension Scheme since commencement in Osun in 2010, has witnessed some positive developments.
He said, “Osun is not only among the few states in the federation that have fully implemented the CPS, it is actually the second in the South West geo-political zone to have done so.
He however urged the beneficiaries to make use of knowledge acquired during the pre-retirement workshop organised for them.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Dr Busirat Ogundipe, expressed appreciation to Governor Aregbesola for fulfilling his promise, urging the governor not to be deterred by the opposition’s allegations.