A SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. KAYODE FAYEMI, GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF GRATUITY CHEQUES TO PENSIONERS IN ADO EKITI ON FRIDAY, 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2012PROTOCOLIt is a thing of joy for me that God has spared our lives to witness thismemorable occasion. I want to particularly thank God who has kept manyof the beneficiaries of this event alive to receive their own gratuity cheques.For those who had passed on, we also need to thank God for the familiesthey left behind who have kept the good names of their departed lovedones aglow.I like to express the appreciations of the State Government for yourimmense contributions to the development of our dear state while you werein service. Today, a sum of N501 million (Five hundred and one millionNaira) will be given as gratuities to 279 pensioners that cut across publicservants in the services of the State and Local Governments as well asprimary school teachers. May I say that this event is to demonstrate thecommitment of this government to ensuring that pensioners receive theirbenefits as and when due.This belief is borne out of the fact that these noble men and women havepaid their dues to the system and are thus entitled to have a blissful postservice rest. You will recall that post retirement comfort for pensioners wasone of my promises during the electioneering campaigns and this has
consequently been enshrined in the Human Capital Development pillar ofour eight – point agenda to put poverty to flight at all levels of social strata.Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I like to remind you that one of myfirst assignments on assumption of office was the approval and payment ofgratuities to the retirees of the defunct Local Government Pension Board.The concern of this government for the welfare of senior citizens informedthe formulation of programmes geared towards making life comfortable forthese senior citizens.However, at a point, it became expedient to determine the quantum ofwhat government was paying on salaries and pension. Government thusdecided to embark on the conduct of biometric authentication of workersand pensioners on the payroll of the State. This was done with a view tointroducing a pragmatic planning into personnel financial management inthe State. This explained the delay in the payment of gratuity forsometimes. However, government recently set up machinery to determinethe total outstanding gratuity. These efforts gave birth to the event oftoday.I like to assure you of the regular release of funds for the payment of allgratuities. This brings me to the issues of your outstanding pensionallowances, and particularly the implementation of the 6% and 15%incremental rates, about which your representatives have entered intodialogue with the Government. While the government has approved these
incremental rates in principle, the dwindling finances being faced by theState has mitigated the implementation. Be that it may, we are lookinginward to raise fund for the implementation. I have directed the Ekiti StatePension Commission to determine all indebtedness to pensioners includingthose of the corporations and tertiary institutions. This is important so thatwe can have a holistic record of all monies owed pensioners to be able toplan the payment.As a matter of fact, this Government has a pact with the people for theefficient delivery of good governance for the common good of all. We arenot unmindful of some attitudinal changes required by our people toappreciate our passion to reorder some debilitating trends which haveobstructed our path to success as a people over the years. We cannotcontinue to do same things that have not helped our course to growth as apeople and expect different results. We must thus eschew all vices and bewilling to do our parts in ensuring that Ekiti State reclaims its place of pridein integrity and industry.I wish to commend the efforts of the management of the Ekiti StatePension Commission for effective pension administration in the state. It isexpedient to remark that pension administration is undergoing arepositioning in Nigeria, and Ekiti State cannot afford to be left behind. Inour efforts to ascertain effective pension administration in the statetherefore, we have consolidated all pension offices under the aegis of EkitiState Pension Commission. It is thus the desire of Government that the
Commission would work in alliance with other stakeholders to consolidatethe gains already made. The state would soon commence deductions intothe Contributory Pension Fund. I, therefore, urge eligible workers who havenot yet registered to do so in their own interest.I like to congratulate the recipients of the gratuity cheques beingdistributed today and urge you to be prudent by investing the moneywisely. Apart from guaranteeing a fulfilled life for you, such ventures willincrease your earnings as well as improve the economy of the state.I wish you all a safe journey back to your destinations.Thank you and God bless.