The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Friday cautioned elderly citizens in the state to avoid large gathering, maintain physical distancing and adhere strictly to other safety protocols established to curb the spread of the virus.
This is coming following the global resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor stated this in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while presenting 100 million naira cheque for payment of gratuities to 41 local government and primary school retirees in the State.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, said payment of the gratuities was in fulfilment of his promises to ensure that pensioners enjoy a worthy life after their meritorious service to the State.
Dr Fayemi reiterated his commitment to prioritizing issues that affect the welfare and well being of pensioners with an assurance to sustain the techniques adopted in defraying outstanding gratuities in the State.
He promised to continue to utilize his position as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum in leading a frontal advocate that would position issues and policies affecting pensioners on the front burner of government agenda.
While assuring that Government would continue to try its best in making life comfortable for retirees, Dr Fayemi urged the beneficiaries to expend the money on profitable ventures.
Speaking on the rising cases of covid-19 across the world, the Governor stressed the need for old people who were considered as one of the most vulnerable age group to take personal responsibility in observing measures put in place to curtail the spread of the infection.
He said: “You have laboured for Ekiti State and now you are to collect the fruit of your labour and it speaks to the commitment of the government at ensuring that gratuity and pension are paid as at when due.
“It saddens the heart of the Governor that many retirees that served their fatherland had not been paid their entitlement.
“The Governor is desirous of leading a frontal attack on all the liabilities that our pensioners are due for both in Ekiti State and as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
“Pensions and gratuities payment would continue to be on the front burner of the Government policies as long as you have the governor piloting the affairs of this state and pensioners can go to bed knowing fully well that issues that affect their welfare and well being will continue to get primary attention of this government.
“I can assure that before this Government winds down there would be more batches many people that have not been paid would be paid. My advice is that as we collect this we should make judicious use of it.
“I will advise also that as we celebrate Christmas and New year we should be guided and be reminded that COVID-19 is back
“And science tells us that the second wave is deadlier than the first wave, from history we learnt that the second wave is always more turbulent, so I will advise our people to observe social distancing, to watch their hands and observe other identified Covid-19 protocol. If it is not compulsory for us to go anywhere as we celebrate Christmas and New year let us stay at home.”
Also, in a related development, Governor Fayemi officially laid the foundation of the new Secretariat Complex of the union in Aso Ekiti. Performing the event in Ado Ekiti, the Governor assured of his support in the timely completion of the project.
Earlier, The State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Ekiti, Elder Ayo Kumapayi commended the Governor for his policy on the payment of pensions and gratuities which had allowed members to fulfil their financial commitment to the union.
According to him, the new office complex is designed to accommodate an office, ICT section, a health section and a kitchen for the betterment of the members of the union.
Elder Kumapayi disclosed that the funding of the various projects which his administration embarked upon were drawn majorly from check-off dues deduction.
Vanguard News Nigeria