A representative of the retired soldiers, Anthony Agbas, who delivered a letter to officials at the Ministry of Finance told Channels Television that they have fought for the country and deserve payment of their pensions.
He added that they are hopeful that their demands will be met without further delay, following the peaceful protest.
The Government of Osun State on Friday confirmed the receipt of 11.744 billion Naira as part of the refunds from the Paris Club loans deductions through the Federal Government.
A statement by the government, through the Bureau of Communication and Strategy, said that based on the received fund the Governor had approved an upward review of the existing salaries and pensions payment structure.
It said the decision was reached to further ease the financial strains foisted on the workers and pensioners as a result of the national economic challenge the country had faced in recent times.
The decision was made after what the government called exhaustive deliberations by the Revenue Apportionment Committee which comprises representatives of workers and the government, under the leadership of Comrade Hassan Sumonu, a foremost labour leader.
The reviewed payment structure stipulated that workers from Level one to seven would continue to be paid their 100% salary while workers on Level eight to ten would now be paid 75% salary.
Workers on Level 12 and above will earn 50% salary while passive workers (pensioners) on 1,000 Naira to 20,000 Naira will collect 100% pensions.
Pensioners on 20,001 Naira to 80,000 Naira will earn 75% of their pensions and those on 80,001 Naira will continue to collect 50% of pensions.
The government, said that on the basis of the newly reviewed payment structure, it would pay salaries and pensions of September, October and November as from Monday December 19.
The Government expressed appreciation for what it described as high sense of responsibility, patriotism, and love for the development of the state, as exemplified by their understanding and cooperation with the government.
It further assured the entire people of the state that laying a solid foundation for future development of the state was paramount.
“This is the reason for the ambitious and courageous development projects in education, roads infrastructure, health, security, agriculture, youths employments and other social welfare programmes of the Rauf Aregbesola administration,” the statement read.
The Osun State government also acknowledged the sacrifice of all in the course of the government navigating through the turbulent economic period, assuring residents that with their cooperation, the state would be great.
The aggrieved pensioners staged a fresh protest over the non-payment of their pension and gratuities by the state government before marching to the Assembly Complex at Abeere to vent their anger on what they termed ‘move by the legislators to prevent the Senate from probing the spending of the bailout funds received by Governor Aregbesola’.
Our correspondent in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, Bosede Sodiq, reports that some legislators had attempted to pacify the seemingly angry protesters before they became violent and attacked the members of the parliament.
The National Union of Pensioners has asked the Federal Government to pay the 18 months’ arrears of the 33% pension increase owed pensioners since the review in 2010.
The pensioners were reacting to the payment of 24 months out of the total 42 months owed them.
They say apart from the paramilitary pensioners, other beneficiaries of the increase such as the railway corporation, universities, the Police and electricity workers are yet to fully benefit from the scheme.
They asked for more since their pension has been due for review since 2015.
Reacting to the pensioners’ outcry, the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Sharon Ikeazor said that the 2016 budget did not make provision for the payment of the arrears.
She, however, explained that the agency is working with the relevant players in the pension sector to resolve the issue.
She also assured the pensioners that the verification of pensioners which was suspended in 2014 would resume to ensure that every pensioner is accounted for and paid as and when due.
[highlight]Still on the pension arrears on Faceoff, our host Nneota Egbe got in Adeolu with the co-ordinator debunked Adeolu’s claim as he went to further saying he is not recognised in the Federal Authorities.[/highlight]
On FaceOff this week, the spotlight moved on to the issue of pension in the nation, with reports of harrowing experiences of these pensioners who have served their fatherland during their younger days.
A pensioner Femi Phillips pointed accusing fingers at a Mr.Adodo who is a state coordinator for Federal pensioners saying him and his cohorts devised ways of shortchanging these pensioners of their pensions, while Adodo on his part debunked these claims.