Pensioners in Ekiti State have rejected plot by the State Government to make them forfeit 25 percent of their gratuity if they desired to be paid.
WazobiaReporters learnt that the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had brought a Lagos based private company, United Capital Plc, to take over the payment of gratuity of 2012 to 2014 pensioners, with the condition that the pensioners will forfeit 15 percent of the gratuity.
Fund to pay the pensioners was to be borrowed by the State Government, with about 15 years repayment period.
Some of the pensioners were said to have agreed to the 15 percent deduction, only to be confronted with a new reality of 25 percent deduction this morning.
The pensioners were said to be shocked to the marrow when they got to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) and were given forms to fill this morning and the deduction had been increased to 25 percent.
“The implication is that if your gratuity is say N2 million, N500,000 will be forfeited, leaving you with N1.5 million.
“And we learnt there will still be processing fee and other hidden charges.
“May be at the end of it all, we will be made to forfeit even up to 40 percent, meaning that someone whose gratuity is N2 million will end up getting like N1.2 million,” one of the pensioners said.
Another of the angry pensioners wondered why the government is asking them to sign off as much as 25 percent of their gratuity since the money with which they are going to be paid will be borrowed and governments coming after that of Dr Fayemi will pay the debt.
“During his first tenure when Ekiti State was receiving as much as N7 billion as monthly allocation and over N46 billion from the Excess Crude Account, Fayemi refused to pay the retirees. He stopped allocating fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department in July 2012.
“Even during the government of Ayodele Fayose, that the economy was extremely bad and the State was unable to meet most of its obligations, N10 million was being released to the Pension Transition Arrangement Department monthly.
“When he returned as governor in 2018, he introduced favouritism to the payment of entitlements of retiree, choosing to pay retired Permanent Secretaries who retired in 2018 and 2019, with gratuities ranging between N12 million and N15 million and monthly pension running to over N400,000 each, while the junior ones, who are the most vulnerable with gratuity not more than N2 million and monthly pension less than N30,000 were left unpaid,” he said.