States in the Southwest geopolitical zone, except Lagos State owe pensioners N330 billion in pensions and gratuities.
The Southwest Zone of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, made the declaration in Ibadan on Wednesday at the end of its zonal meeting.
Its spokesman, Dr Olusegun Abatan, told newsmen at the end of the meeting that Osun led the debtor states with unpaid pensions and gratuities amounting to N145 billion.
He noted that the issue of unpaid pensions arrears and gratuities in Osun got compounded during the tenure of Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, as governor of the state.
He said there had not been any improvement since Mr Aregbesola left the office of governor.
Mr Abatan said that Ondo, Ogun and Ekiti states owed N58 billion, N55 billion and N40 billion, respectively.
He added that Oyo State owed N43 billion before Governor Seyi Makinde took office in May 2019.
He noted that Makinde had paid about N11 billion out of the N43 billion owed by his predecessors.
Mr Abatan noted also that Lagos State did not belong to the group of debtor states because it was the first to embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme.
He added that Lagos State pensioners were also lucky to have had responsible leaders in government that took pensioners’ issues seriously.
He said the union had mandated each NUP council to meet their respective governors and negotiate on how to reduce and settle the arrears and where necessary go to court.
Mr Abatan appealed to NUP members in the geopolitical zone to vote wisely at the forthcoming 2023 general elections and elect leaders that would address pensioners’ challenges.