The Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State has accused the state governor, Kayode Fayemi, of colluding with a Lagos-based private company, United Capital Plc, to loot over N6bn from pensioners in the state.
The party described the state government's new scheme in which pensioners desirous of getting their gratuities and pensions are made to sign-off 15 per cent of their entitlements as wicked, callous and fraudulent.
In a statement on Thursday by the PDP Caretaker Committee Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi, the party blamed Governor Fayemi for the accumulated pensions and gratuities in the state, saying, "During his first tenure when Ekiti State was receiving as much as N7bn as monthly allocation and over N46bn from the Excess Crude Account, Fayemi refused to pay retirees. He stopped allocating fund to the Pension Transition Arrangement Department in July 2012.
“We want to ask Governor Fayemi if contractors in the state who are being paid with borrowed funds are also made to part with 15 percent of the contract sum as condition to get paid”.
"When Governor Fayemi returned as governor in 2018, he introduced favouritism to the payment of entitlements of retiree, as he chose to pay retired permanent secretaries who retired in 2018 and 2019, with gratuities ranging between N12m and N15m and monthly pension running to over N400,000 each, while the junior ones, who are the most vulnerable with gratuity not more than N2m and monthly pension less than N30,000 were left unpaid."
Odeyemi disclosed that the state government was going to borrow over N40bn to pay the pensioners, asking; "If a government is borrowing money that will be repaid by the pensioners and other indigenes of the state, including those yet to be born, how sensible is it to still make the pensioners part with 15 per cent of their entitlement?"
He accused Governor Fayemi of seeking to eat from the sweat of the pensioners, alleging a suspicion that the governor will be getting10 per cent out of the 15 per cent to be deducted from the pensioners' entitlement.
"We have been reliably informed that the 10 per cent, which amounts to over N4bn is to be paid into a offshore account owned by a crony of the governor," he alleged.
While reiterating that Governor Fayemi was the architect of the present problems being faced by pensioners in Ekiti State, the PDP said even during the government of Ayodele Fayose the economy was extremely bad and the state was unable to meet most of its obligations, N10m was being released to the Pension Transition Arrangement Department monthly.
"To us in the PDP, it will amount to the peak of wickedness and selfishness for Governor Fayemi to profit from his own inhumanity to the pensioners and this new scam of making the poor pensioners to part with 15 per cent of their entitlements for his own personal benefits will fail," he said.