Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has denied diverting N3.9 billion meant for the payment of local government pensioners.
Abiodun who stated this in response to the protest by the Ogun State Chapter of the Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria (LOGPAN) over outstanding gratuity owed its members restated the commitment of his administration to prioritise welfare of the pensioners through regular payment of their pensions despite the dwindling financial situation being witnessed in the state and the country at large.
The governor in a statement by his chief press secretary, Kunle Somorin in Abeokuta disclosed that efforts were in top gear to clear the 2011 pension arrears and increase the quarterly release of N500m to defray backlog of pension arrears as the state’s finances improve.
The governor noted that pension issues are not new to all stakeholders in the state, recalling that at the inception of his administration, robust dialogues were held with all the stakeholders on how to move forward on payment of pension arrears.
He, however, said that the state government was not aware of any N3.9bn pension fund meant for the payment of local government pensioners in the state, as claimed by the protesting pensioners.
According to him, it was the first time such a fund was heard of by the present administration in the state.
“We are not aware of any N3.9bn pension fund as claimed by LOGPAN. If there is any, we will be grateful if they can show us the path to recover it”, he stated.
Abiodun, who noted that the backlog of pensions is a huge sum of money, refuted the allegation that disbursement was done to favour some people to the detriment of others, declaring “there is no favouritism on the payment of pension in the state. There is an established procedure to follow”.