EKITI State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has reiterated his government’s readiness to secure bond offerings to offset the outstanding gratuities of state pensioners.
Fayemi stressed that the move will be necessary in order to put smiles on faces of retired civil servants who have rendered selfless service in different capacities to the state by paying their statutory entitlements.
The governor disclosed this in his office while receiving in audience the United Nations led by the resident coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon.
In a statement signed yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, Fayemi said Ekiti has to develop innovative bond to address myriads of practical challenges facing the state.
“We have a lot of people who have retired from service and their gratuities have piled up over the years running into billions of naira that we are not immediately able to pay and I don’t think it is fair for all these people who have devoted years of their lives to serving the state.
“That is why we started the social security scheme for the elderly as a safety net to address this sort of issue, but for us, we think it should be possible for us to develop a bond that can enable us pay off all these and then find a way to offset that bond over a long term,” said the governor.
“We are recruiting teachers and, it will shock you, Ekiti is one of the smallest states. On the first day of our recruitment, we had 6500 applications online; by 12:00 noon this afternoon, we had 9,000 for teaching positions that will start mid-September in our basic schools.
“That depicts a picture of the enormity of the challenge. This is what increasingly led to the radicalisation of people who feel there is no hope; so, we have to find a way to eke out a living and government had to be more innovative and creative about tackling these challenges,” he added.
The UN official commended Fayemi’s social security programmes, saying the UN would work with the state to actualise its Sustainable Development Goals vision.