Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, on Wednesday presented N1.2bn cheque to 793 former political office holders who served between 2007 and 2015 across all the local government areas of the state.
Amosun, while speaking shortly after a symbolic presentation of the cheques, explained that some former political office holders who served the state within the period had benefitted in the first two batches, bringing the total amount paid to N2.5bn.
The govermor said he had been “religiously committed” to the payment of allowances of political office holders as well as payment of gratuities and pensions of retired civil servants.
He said, “Since the inception of our administration, we have kept faith with the payment of gratuities and pensions to retired public servants.
“It is important that, as we keep on paying retirement benefits to civil servants, we must also do the same for their political counterparts.
“Let me state that this payment also takes care of political office holders even in the previous administration.
“We will not discriminate in the recognition and appreciation of services rendered towards the development of our dear state.
“Therefore, we are making available about N1.2bn for the concluding payment of severance allowance.”
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jide Ojuko, described the gesture of the governor as another demonstration of his love and commitment towards the welfare of ex-political office holders in spite of paucity of funds against several competing demands for the resources of the state.
In his response, one of the beneficiaries, Abayomi Tella, who was the Chairman, Addo/Odo-Ota Local Government, lauded Amosun for living up to his promises to clear all the outstanding payments before he leaves office.