By Mary Agidi
Retirees in the Local Government Service of Ondo State have been assured that the present administration will continue to give priority to their pension and monthly allowances.
Addressing representatives of the retirees during a courtesy visit to her, Commissioner for local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Lola Fagbemi, said certain percentage are always being set aside to meet the payment of retirees because of the importance attached to it.
As senior citizens, the Commissioner charged the retirees to always give useful advice to government on ways to move the state to greater height.
She advised them to fuse the four divisions which made up the forum into one body to achieve unity of purpose.
The chairman of the forum, Elder Saliu had earlier in his speech eulogized Governor Akeredolu for giving due attention to retirees especially in the areas of regular payment of their monthly allowance as well as setting aside a certain percentage to settle outstanding gratuity.
He however enjoined government to consider an increase in the monthly grant set aside for the payment of gratuity in view of the retiring members which stood at over 10,000 including primary school teachers.
Elder Saliu said many of the retirees had died untimely when they could not afford to pay for medical bills.
The retirees forum called for a comprehensive screening of the existing members as similar exercise carried out by the body yielded positive result while about N10m were saved for government.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Funmilayo Ogundipe, commended the retirees for their maturity and level of understanding with prayer that they will all be alive to enjoy the dividend of their past.