It was a rain of encomiums and jubilation as a retired blind school teacher in Osun State received a bond certificate of N8.3million.
The benefitting retiree, Mr. Aniobi John, described the gesture as the best thing that had ever happened to him, saying Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the state had rekindled his dashed hope.
He was among 162 retirees that benefitted from the N1.156b bond certificates presented to a fresh set of pensioners by the state government.
The benefitting retirees were primary school teachers, local government staff and those in the core civil service, parastatals and state-owned tertiary institutions.
Fielding questions from journalists, John described the gesture as a great relief to him and his family in view of what they had passed through since he retired from active service.
John, who retired in 2016 after he had served the state meritoriously for 35 years, burst into the tears of joy for being favourably considered by the government.
He decried the delay in the payment of his pensions, which he said ought to have been done before the expiration of the previous administration since he retired in 2016.
The pensioner, who claimed to have lost his sight three years before his retirement, said the payment of his pension and gratuity in full would go a long way for him to begin a new life.
According to him, Governor Oyetola had made what seemed impossible possible, put smile in the faces of his family members and dependants who had hitherto lost hope after waiting for more than eight years.
“This is a true manifestation of a prayer point for one to receive his dues by one’s hand. It is like a dream to me because this is a lost hope that has just been rekindled after waiting hopelessly for several years.
“I retired from active service in 2016 as a school teacher after I had served for 35 years. I retired at Level 14, Step 11, and since my retirement, I have been facing hell due to the inability of government to pay my entitlements.
“Though I am under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), since I retired, it hasn’t been my turn until today that I received my bond certificate totalling N8.361, 306.
“I am sincerely thankful to Governor Oyetola for making this a reality for me, most importantly when I am still alive and healthy. It is indeed a demonstration of genuine leadership and passion for the welfare of workers.
“Though it may take long before this is coming my way, I am fully aware that the current administration has not failed for once in its resolve to advance the cause, welfare and anything pertaining to workers’ welfare and general well-being in the state.”