The Ekiti Government has debunked the allegation that the state was deducting 25 per cent or any amount from gratuities of its pensioners.
This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti by the state Commissioner for Information and Value Orientation, Akin Omole.
In his reaction to the allegations, Omole explained that the state government, after due consultations with the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), had established the Ekiti Discount Gratuity Settlement Scheme.
The commissioner said the scheme was part of efforts to fast track payment of backlog of retirees’ gratuities through a negotiated discount process.
He said that the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration increased the amount of money released monthly for payment of gratuities to N100 million from N10 million in a bid to show his commitment to pensioners’ welfare.
The previous amount of N10 million, Omole said, could only settle less than 30 retirees monthly, while the funds under the new scheme would be settling up to 1,000 retirees, starting from early 2021.
Omole added that the state government negotiated and obtained the approval of the leadership of NUP to commence the scheme.
Under the scheme, a financial institution (United Capital) would be paying retirees under agreed terms and collect the funds from the government between now and 2022 when the programme would end.
He stressed that the scheme was designed to ensure outstanding gratuities were paid as early as possible instead of government to continue owing retirees’ gratuities for years.
The commissioner, however, explained that the participation in the scheme was optional, as no pensioner would be forced into the arrangement.
He said the proposed scheme was designed for pensioners who wished to collect their gratuities within the stipulated period rather than waiting in line for years to do so.
According to him, interested pensioners are to choose the period they prefer from March 2021; June 2021; October 2021, and February 2022.
The discounts, he said, would be 15 per cent, 10 per cent 5 per cent and zero per cent respectively.
He added that concerned pensioners would be guaranteed payment of their individual gratuities with promissory notes to be issued to them.
“The promissory note is like a post-dated cheque. Once issued, the pensioner is guaranteed payment of his gratuity on the date written on the cheque. No story!
“Other pensioners, who are not interested in participating in the scheme, may, however, wait patiently for the date on their promissory notes, which would be issued for February 2022 and they would get their money in full without discount or deductions.
“The scheme is completely optional. No retiree is forced or mandated to accept any discount, if they choose to wait until February 2022,” the commissioner said.
He, therefore, called on residents to disregard any contrary report being circulated by those he described as