Ondo State civil servants and pensioners on Tuesday protested the non-payment of their salaries and allowances by the state government.
The pensioners accused the state government of not paying four months pensions, while some of them alleged that the government had been deducting their pension illegally since 2013.
Similarly, the state workers, comprising members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress accused the state government of withholding and planning to divert the Paris Club refund to a fixed bank account.
The protesters marched to the governor’s office in Alagbaka, Akure, singing anti-government songs and blocked the entrance gate of the governor’s office, preventing workers from going into the premises for several hours.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the NLC Chairman in the state, Tayo Ogunleye, said the government had failed to pay the outstanding salaries and pensions of workers and pensioners as directed by the Federal Government.
Ogunleye said, “The Paris Club refund was released by the Federal Government solely for the payment of arrears of salaries and pensions. No more, no less”.
Also reacting, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Rapheal Adetuwo, said the government owed the pensioners about N43bn from 2012 till date, adding that many members of the NUP had died of hunger.
However, the state’s Head of Service, Toyin Akinkuotu, while addressing the protesting workers, said the government would not hide anything from them, promising that all workers and pensioners would soon get their pay.
He told the workers that the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu-led administration had not owed salary since inception, stressing that the workers were paid as and when due and letters of 2018 promotion exercise had been issued to worker that were due for promotion.