Ajimobi decries pensions fund embezzlement

By The Citizen

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Wednesday, decried the stealing of funds meant for payment of pensions of retirees in the state, warning that anybody involved in the scam would not go unpunished.

The governor, while speaking at the Nigeria Union of Pensioners' Day 2013 held at the State Secretariat, Ibadan said stealing or misappropriation of the money was not only a sin to God but also to the retirees who would be denied minimum comfort at the end of their active years.

Governor Ajimobi, who, according to the pensioners, was the first governor in the state to attend any such function organized by them, said that he would continue to fight for the rights of the pensioners and support their course.

“I want to assure you all that I will continue to do everything to make you comfortable. As an administration, we value the Senior Citizens in our midst. Our belief is that we must treat you well so that when we also get to this stage, someone else would treat us well. We can only neglect our elders at our peril. You know the values that rule a people by the level of their treatment of the elderly, the weak and the infirm. Our administration will continue to accord pensioners a place of pride in the scheme of things,' he said.

While itemizing what his government had so far done for pensioners, however assured them that he was yet to begin.

'Immediately we came into office, we were notified of the pending case you had with our predecessor when you dragged the state government to court over non-payment of the arrears of your 142 per cent pension increase, non-payment of 10 per cent compensation allowance to those forcefully retired in 2002 and non-placement of pensioners on 6 per cent and 15 per cent pension increase.

'In September 2011, we approved the payment of your 142 per cent pension increase, four months after our assumption of office. Also, on January 9, 2013, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with you to begin the payment of 10 per cent compensation allowance to those forcefully retired in 2002.

'Our administration also went a notch higher by approving the placement of pensioners on six per cent and 15 per cent pension increase, with effect from February 2013 and payment of arrears of 6 per cent pension increase from October 2003 and January 31, 2013, a total of 112 months. Part of the agreement we also had with our Senior Citizens was payment of the arrears of 15 per cent pension increase from January 2007 to January 2013,' he said.