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Ondo Govt charges public servants on early retirement plans

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Ondo State government has charged public servants to draw up their retirement plans early, so as to live stress-free lives after exiting service.

The state Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele, gave the charge on Wednesday in Akure.

He spoke at a sensitisation and pre-retirement workshop for teachers and civil servants disengaging from the state public service in 2023.

Ogundele said that failure to have adequate plans for life after retirement contributed to indecent living and untimely deaths of retirees.

The head of service said that officers did not have to wait till the end of their service to plan their post-retirement lives.

He said that the Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu-led administration had put several measures in place to ensure timely payment of pensions and gratuities to the state retirees.

“You will recall that one of the major reform initiatives of the present administration is the initialisation of pension administration, aimed at ensuring seamless retirement and gratuity payment processing.

“It is on record that before the present administration, management of retirement and gratuity payment was bedevilled by with poor documentation, manual processing, cumbersome clearance procedure, lack of sound pension policy framework,” he said.

Ogundele listed the initiatives to ease the burden of retirees to include centralisation of retiring officers in the Pension Transitional Department and decentralisation of pension forms into all the 18 local government areas in the state.

He said that digitalisation of pension and gratuity administration and online updating of pensioners records were among others.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ondo State Pension Transitional Department, Mr Dele Akinmoye, explained the rationale for the sensitisation programme.

He said it was based on the need to educate retiring officers on issues they would likely encounter in the processing and payment of their retirement benefits.

Akinmoye urged participants to avail themselves of the opportunity of the programme and put all issues raised to effective use.

Two papers on ‘Ease of Processing Retirement Benefit’ and ‘Managing Your Health in Retirement’ were delivered by Akinmoye and Dr Olufemi Ajayi respectively.

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‘Tinubu paying fuel subsidy more than before’ – El-Rufai

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The former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has claimed that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government is currently subsidising fuel for Nigerians.

Fielding questions from journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Monday, El-Rufai said the FG is now paying fuel subsidy more than before.

President declared during his inauguration on May 29, 2023, that the country can no longer subsidise fuel for the citizens, saying the petrol subsidy is gone.

The development skyrocketed the price of fuel and other products and services, triggering the economic hardship that has been bedevilling the nation since 2023.

But the former governor told journalists on Monday that the subsidy is back.

According to him, the FG returned the subsidy because “the impact has been seen and the packages of support that would reduce the impact have not been so effective in reducing the impact, so the federal government is back now subsidising petrol.”

He said many people don’t know that the fuel subsidy is back.

“If they want to know whether we are subsidising or not, they should compare the price of petrol and diesel because petrol should be more expensive than diesel but diesel is priced above a thousand naira while petrol is at N600 per litre.

“So, we are still subsidising Petrol because the government has realised that the way it implemented the fuel subsidy initially required some adjustments,” El-Rufai said.

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Clark calls for special taskforce for release of Chibok girls

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Pa Edwin Clark, Leader of  the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has urged the Federal Government to appoint a special taskforce to ensure the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls held by Boko Haram

The elder statesman made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday at a ceremony to mark the Chibok girls’ 10th anniversary in captivity.

While expressing displeasure over the failure of past administrations to rescue the girls, Clark urged President Bola Tinubu to leave no stones unturned to secure the release of the girls.

“About 90 of them are still missing after 10 years. This should be a source of worry and concern to any government.

“Tinubu should appoint a special taskforce with brave soldiers, who are competent and transparent and not nepotic.

“Their main duty will be to travel at all times to Sambisa forest or where ever these citizens are, to look for these girls and rescue them.

“In giving this advice, I also want to add that a time limit should be given to them to carry out this task.”

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Oodua Nation Agitation: NSCDC puts personnel on red alert in Ondo

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, has ordered divisional officers and tactical teams to be on red alert and ward off any incursion into the state by Oodua nation agitators.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Oluyemi Ibiloye, who stated this at the weekly muster parade where the corps’ operations during the last Eid-el Fitr celebration were reviewed, also ordered the teams to be on standby for other miscreants.

Ibiloye, in a statement made available to newsmen by the command’s Spokesperson, Aidamenbor Daniel on Monday in Akure, admonished officers to take positive posture toward their job.

He reminded the officers and men of the corps of the ongoing political activities within the state and the need to be professional and apolitical in their operations.

“The intelligence department, armed squad, counter terrorism unit, rapid response squad and operations are to be on red alert to ensure that the security breach that took place in Oyo State does not happen in Ondo State,” he said.

According to him, this has become imperative especially now that various political parties are having their rallies in the state, with mixed crowds in attendance.

“The command wishes to reiterate its commitment to safeguarding lives and properties, and ensuring the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.

“We would do all within the ambits of the law to ensure the safety of all good and law-abiding citizens of Ondo State.

“For quick intervention and actionable intelligence sharing, the command’s quick response lines 08034027234, 08037871044 and 08032797388 are open for public use,” Ibiloye said.

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