Ogun State House of Assembly says there is need for the State Government to utilize the urgent window of financial facility being provided by regulatory authorities, to secure funds through bonds, in order to defray outstanding gratuities of retirees.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, disclosed this while receiving executive members of the State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, led by its Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, over the issues of the new Pension Reform Bill recently passed by the Assembly.
Oluomo posited that the law, which was subject to further amendments by the Assembly, arising from engagements between the State Government and Labour Unions, with a view to addressing any grey area, got the unanimous and speedy approval of the lawmakers, as a result of the short timeframe issued by regulatory bodies for the State Government to propose amendments to some of its laws, to conform with stipulated standards as applicable at the national level.
According to him, “the explanation given was that they wanted to set aside some fund to defray outstanding gratuities and have a Memorandum of Understanding with those who would retire between now and 2025, so that what is due to them before the commencement of the new law would be paid by the State, while the Pension Fund Administrators would pay the ones after.
‘’We felt it was an opportunity for the State to put smiles on the faces of a lot of people that have retired from Ogun State years back without having access to their gratuities, so that spurred us. The Bill that was passed is not cast in iron, it is subject to whatever the labour and government agree upon. We are only persuaded by the fact that those who want to give us the bond want our law to be the same thing with that of the national law’’, he stated.
Oluomo reassured the Unions that the Ninth Assembly would always remain worker-friendly and continue to put in place, relevant legislative instruments to promote industrial harmony between the State workforce and government.
Earlier in his remarks, Comrade Bankole lauded the Speaker for the engagement, calling for further deliberations, with a view to further strengthen industrial harmony and correct anomalies on issues relating to workers’ welfare.
In another development, the State House of Assembly Committee on Public Account and Anti-Corruption has assessed the financial records of the D.S Adegbenro Polytechnic, Itori and State Hospital, Ijebu-Ode, with invitations to the Polytechnic’s former Rector, Prof. Olufemi Fatade and the Hospital’s former Head of Finance and Account, Mr. Olasunkanmi Lawal, to appear before the lawmakers on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
The Chairman of the Committee, Musefiu Lamidi stated that the invitation became necessary as there were grey areas in the institutions’ financial records that needed clarifications.