Members of the Association of Retired Staff of Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo local government area of Ondo State have appealed to the outgoing governor, Olusegun Mimiko,to pay their pension arrears and gratuity before bowing out of office this Friday.
The retirees, who claimed they started the struggle for the payment of their pension in 2006, said the state government as at December 31, 2016 was owing them N912,727,324.85.
This it said exclude the 33 percent pension increase approved by the Federal Government in 2010.
Their complaint was contained in a press release issued and signed by the association Chairman, Rufus Oguntoyinbo and General Secretary, Steven Olufawoye shortly after its annual general meeting held at the weekend at the Polytechnic Auditorium.
The elder statesmen said they had met with the governor on several occasions at which they were promised that the debt will be cleared.
The association lamented that one of them died recently because he could not raise N500 to buy his regular drug.
They revealed that 57 of them have reportedly died within the last three years and without receiving their gratuity, arrears or pension.
They also blamed their predicaments on the immediate past Rector of the institution, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, whom they said despite the intervention of the State Assembly in 2014, directing the institution to pay them, the rector refused to implement the report.
According to them, the Assembly directed that “management of the polytechnic should pay retirees the arrears of pension and gratuity as from 2006 to date.
“That management of the institution should commence the full payment of pension to all retirees in accordance with enhanced salary from 2001 to date.
“The financial implication of placing the affected pensioners on the enhanced pension increase rate is about N600,000 per month; which we expect management to add to the monthly wage bill.
“Ajibefun who could not afford to release that amount to the monthly pension of some retirees autocratically collected N49,600,000 as his gratuity at the end of his four years in office at the polytechnic.
“We are making the whole world especially the incoming administration in Ondo State to know the predicaments of the retirees of the state Polytechnic.
“From our our experience, it could be ascertained that Mimiko hand pendant hatred for the Polytechnic which adversely affected the retirees.”