From Lateef Dada, Osogbo

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), has expressed optimism that Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State will clear about N172 billion owed pensioners in the state.

The union commended Adeleke for prioritizing the welfare of retirees since his assumption of office in November 2022.

The state is indebted to the tune of about N172 billion pensions which includes contributory pensions, the half salary of old pensioners, and the implementation of an N18,000 minimum wage.

The state secretary of the union, Dele Aina, who stated that the whole amount owed the pensioners is about N172 billion, maintained that Adeleke will do as promised and pay the debt in the interest of the peace of the state.

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It was gathered that the former governor Rauf Aregbesola owed the pension which was inherited by his successor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

Findings showed that the inability of former governor Oyetola to offset the pensions led to disagreement between his government and the pensioners in the state.

However, Aina who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, noted that goGovernordemola Adeleke had promised before the election to pay off the debt, assuring that he (Adeleke) will accede to their demand and offset the arrears as soon as possible.

He said, “Our agreement during the campaign, he should make sure that he fulfills them. We expect him to call us to a roundtable. If we sit together and deliberate, we would know how they want to be paying it. This is our government and we must not fight them.

“It is about N172 billion with 2011/2022 pensioners, old gratuity, implementation of N18,000 minimum wage, and half salary of old pensioners. The governor has started in a little way but it is not enough,” Aina stated.