By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo – Pensioners under the aegis of Forum of 2011/12 Retired Public Servants of Osun, on Tuesday took to the streets of Osogbo, urging the Federal Government to prevail on the state government to pay their 12 month arrears.
Speaking with newsmen in Osogbo on the protest, the Chairman of the Forum, Mr Omoniyi Ilesanmi, said non payment of pension to retirees had led to the death of 1,625 members since 2013.
Ilesanmi, who said many of their members had become bedridden due to ill heath and inability to pay for treatment, stressed that others could no longer meet their basic needs.
He called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to direct the Ministry of Finance and the CBN to release the second tranche of the Paris Club loan refund to Osun to remedy the situation.
The spokesman also urged the acting president to direct both the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance to properly monitor the disbursement and utilisation of the fund in the state.
Mr Shola Olojede, the Secretary of the Forum, said what government was owing pensioners and workers totalled 12 months in accumulated pension and salaries.
Olojede said the state government had been paying half of pension and salaries to pensioners and workers since July 2015 and which amounted to 12 months arrears.
He said government was owing N27.6 billion in pension and salaries for the 12 months and N22 billion in backlog of gratuities from 2008 to 2012.
Olojede said that government had, however, told the pensioners at a meeting that it had no funds to pay them.