Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo state on Tuesday said his administration will review the template for the payment of gratuities to retirees to speed up the payment of the government’s backlog.

The governor stated this during the flag-off ceremony of the second batch of bulk payments of outstanding gratuities to local government retirees, in Akure, the state capital.

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The governor said this is in continuation of his administration efforts towards promoting the welfare of retirees in the State.

He recalled previous payments made under his administration, noting that the substantial relief provided to many retirees, adding that such regular payments will continue.

Aiyedatiwa said: “Today is another landmark in our avowed commitment to the welfare of our people, including workers in Service and at retirement in the Sunshine State.

“In November 2023, the First Batch of this innovative bulk payment of outstanding gratuity of our former Local Government Staff and primary school teachers was carried out.

” In January 2024, another flag-off of payment of N1.2b was also performed for the year 2014 pensioners of the State Civil Service.”

The Governor said the current batch focuses predominantly on LG retirees from the year 2012 and aims to settle remaining arrears from previous years, reiterating his administration’s dedication to the consistent and fair payment of pensions and gratuities.

The Governor also addressed concerns about the fairness of the payment process, assuring that the system in place prioritizes equity, fairness, and transparency.

He pleaded with those not included in the present batch to remain hopeful as the administration continues its efforts to maximize the happiness and welfare of the greatest number of people.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Amidu Takuro, in his welcome address, commended the governor for his prompt action, acknowledging that retirees have been facing hardship for many years.

Takuro disclosed that the governor had tasked him with saving funds specifically to pay pensioners and highlighted the gratitude retirees have expressed towards the governor for his compassion and dedication to their welfare.

Also in his remarks, the Head of Service, Mr. Bayo Philips, described the day’s event as stemming from a Godly mind, emphasizing that the governor’s actions reflect a divine approach.

He pointed out the challenging nature of addressing gratuity issues, noting that many other state governors neglect retirees because they find it difficult to meet the huge demand.

Expressing his gratitude to the Governor, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr. Johnson Osunyemi, noted that the payment is a significant relief for the retirees, as it had been long awaited. He assured the Governor of the retirees support in the forthcoming election.

Joshua Adeoye, a retired teacher, who is one of the beneficiaries, thanked the governor for his compassion and interest in the welfare of pensioners in the State.