By G9ija

The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has stated his biggest regret while in office.

The Eagle Online recalls that Dr. Fayemi on Sunday handed over to his successor, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji.

The colourful ceremony held a day after Fayemi commissioned the Ekiti Agro Allied and Passenger Airport, with the landing of the first flight.

Speaking with select Editor a few days before he handed over, Fayemi shared his vision for the state and also spoke on his biggest regret.

He said his biggest regret was the refusal of the National Union of Pensioners, Ekiti State Chapter to accept a proposal to offset their outstanding payments by a firm that would have collected commission on it.

He was asked: “In the four years of your second tenure, which would you describe as the day you would never forget in terms challenge?”

He responded: “The day the Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners rejected the plan we put before them to defray the backlog of gratuity.

“There had been a backlog of gratuities running into N12 billion by the time I came and we then entered a partnership with one of the prominent financial Institutions to give these pensioners discounted promissory notes that would defray that, but there would be a commission by the institution providing the money.

“And we explained to them that, look, your gratuity, for example, is N5 million and the provider of this service will take between 10 and 15 per cent commission and you will get between N3.5 million to N4 million or thereabout, instead of the N5 million.

“It is still better for you to take this sum rather than to keep waiting endlessly till when the government will have N5 million cash to give you.

“Yes, you are losing some money, but this N4 million you are getting is cash at hand, not N5 million that you’re expecting, but has not seen and that you may not see if – God forbid – you die before the money eventually comes to you.

“We’ve concluded this arrangement.

“Unfortunately, the pensioners eventually refused the offer and lost a major opportunity.

“When you look at the inflationary trend in the country, N4 million cash four years ago will probably be worth just N3 million now if not less than that.

“Very unfortunate.”