The Oyo State Government has released N204 million to offset outstanding gratuities of 81 retirees in the state.

Hannah Ogunesan, the State Head of Service, disbursed the cheques to beneficiaries on Thursday in Ibadan at the old ministry of establishment and training.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sum released was gratuity payment for year 2012 retired civil servants and teachers under the payroll of the state government across all grades.

Mrs Ogunesan, who was represented by Adejoke Eyitayo, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Head of Service office, said it was another evidence that Gov. Abiola Ajimobi was committed to the welfare of workers.

“The Ajimobi-led administration in the State is responsible and committed to the well-being of both serving and retired civil servants.

“The administration will continue to pay the gratuities to the pensioners based on merit, without any influence or favour,” she said.

She said government was making concerted efforts to ease the pains of the pensioners in the state.

Mrs Ogunesan stressed that the disbursement was done to make life easier for senior citizens who had served the state meritoriously for 35 years.

She appealed to those that were yet to receive theirs not to lose hope, noting that efforts were in top gear toward the payment of their gratuities as soon as possible.

Mrs Ogunesan advised the beneficiaries not to venture into a business without having in-depth knowledge of such business and avoid fraudsters who might want to dupe them.

Kazeem Mudathir, who spoke on behalf of beneficiaries, thanked the governor
for releasing the huge amount of money as their gratuities despite the paucity of funds in the State.

He noted that the procedure followed in paying the money was purely on merit, as nobody collected anything from them before releasing the money.