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Osun bastardizing workers, retirees – DSM accuses govt of anti-worker policy

The Osun State Government has been accused of bastardizing workers and retirees and was, however, portrayed as being an anti-worker state.

The State, according to the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) since the administration of former Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who is now the minister of Interior till the current government led by Governor Gboyega Oyetola have been owning pensioners.

The group, in a statement jointly signed by the Osun State Coordinator, Alfred Adegoke and the Secretary, Kola Ibrahim on Monday condemned the action of the government against the retirees who retired under the state public service.

The DSM alleged that the government has refused to pay its counterpart funds for the contributory pensions of retirees since 2016, “thus denying the retirees, who have committed their adult lives to serve the state and by extension the country, their entitlements.

“Worse still, the deductions made from workers’ salaries as contributions to the contributory pensions were not remitted to the pension accounts of workers and retirees. These wicked policies started under the previous anti-worker Aregbesola government, but are now being sustained by the Oyetola-led Osun State government.”

Workers, Pensioners plight

In September and October when the state government released N708 million and N300 million to offset pensions among passive workers in the state and to pay pension arrears of 1,501 retirees respectively — the pensioners, however, protested, saying many members of the retirees were yet to be paid in the last six years, hence the money was inadequate.

The state had also been owing workers and pensioners 15-month arrears of salaries and pensions since 2015 during the administration of Aregbesola.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, in a statement had claimed the state released .N40billion on pension in three years for the payment of pension arrears for retired civil servants in the state.

Retirees under the aegis of Contributory Pension Scheme according to their spokesperson, George Animasaun, said the N150million monthly payment by the state government is grossly inadequate, as many members of them have been waiting to collect their entitlement since August 2016 till date.

The Aregbesola government was accused of not remitting deductions made from workers’ salaries as contributions to the contributory pensions to the pension accounts of workers and retirees since 2016.

‘It is shameful that retirees have to embark on protests’

The DSM said it is shameful for the government that retirees have to embark on protests before their meagre pensions and gratuities are paid.

The group berated Oyetola’s government for “looking the other way for about three years — asking retirees to wait for another round of hardly productive negotiations that have run to months before their entitlements are paid.

“We find as puerile the excuse by the government that there is no money to pay the arrears of pensions and gratuities, including more than 15 months of outstanding salaries and pensions. The same government that pays politicians and political appointees humongous emoluments has no excuse to deny retirees their entitlements after decades of service to the state.

“It is sheer case of moral bankruptcy. The same government that could borrow about N3 billion at an exorbitant interest rate to reconstruct an existing and functional road with less than 500-meter fly-over in Osogbo, has no excuse of paucity fund when it comes to paying thousands of long-suffering retirees.

“The same government that is claiming lack of funds handed over N11 billion to private contractors, many of whom abandoned many road projects or left them uncompleted after initially collecting more than 50 percent of contract sum. The N11 billion was part of the refund for federal roads undertaken by the state government.

“The same state government who could pay contractors who defrauded the state, has no excuse not to pay retirees. If the state government is sincere about paucity of fund, we challenge it to make the financial record of the state open for public scrutiny; and it will be glaring, how politicians and their big business collaborators have cornered the resources of the state,” the group stated.

However, efforts to get the reaction of the state government proved abortive. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan would not be reached through his phone after texts and calls.(Dailypost)

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