Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has denied embezzling 3.9 billion naira to pay local government retirees.
Abiodun, who said this in response to the protest from the Ogun State Section of the Association of Local Government Retirees of Nigeria (LOGPAN) over unpaid gratuities owed to its members, reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to prioritize the well-being of retirees through the regular payment of their pensions despite the declining financial situation witnessing in the state and the country as a whole.
The governor, in a statement by his chief press secretary Kunle Somorin in Abeokuta, revealed that efforts were in high gear to clear the 2011 pension arrears and increase the quarterly release by 500 million naira to cover the backlog of pension arrears as government finances improve.
The governor noted that pension issues are not new to all stakeholders in the state, recalling that at the start of his administration, there were strong dialogues with all stakeholders on how to move forward in the payment of pension arrears.
He said, however, that the state government was not aware of any 3.9 billion naira pension fund earmarked for the payment of local government retirees in the state, as the protesting retirees claimed. .
According to him, this was the first time that such a fund had been heard by the current state administration.
“We do not know of any 3.9 billion naira pension fund as claimed by LOGPAN. If there are any, we will be grateful if they can show us the way to get it back,” he said. .
Abiodun, who noted that the pension backlog is a huge amount of money, refuted the claim that the disbursement was made to favor some people over others, saying “there is no favoritism over the payment of pensions in the state. There is an established procedure to follow ”.