By Dipo Olowookere The sum of N200.9 million has been released by the Oyo State government for the payment of year 2011, 2012 gratuity for about 201 retired Civil Servants in the state from grade level 01-07. Head of Service in Oyo State, Mrs Olawumi Ogunesan, who made the disbursement of cheques on Thursday, to the beneficiaries at the Old Ministry of Establishment and Training, Secretariat, Ibadan, explained that the payment was an attestation to the fact that the state government was paying gratuities to pensioners based on merit and without influence or favour. The HoS represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Service, Mrs Adejoke Eyitayo appealed to those that are yet to collect theirs to exercise patience as Government is working assiduously to pay them in due course. Mrs Ogunesan revealed that the Oyo State Government had earlier paid N1.3 billion gratuities to retirees last year and consequently admonished the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously and be careful with fraudsters who may want to swindle them by collecting money from them unlawfully. Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, two retirees, Mrs Adediran Odebisi and Mr Rasheed Akanbi, appreciated the Oyo State government for releasing the huge amount of money as their gratuities, saying that most of them have lost hope of getting it. The duo reiterated that the procedure followed in paying the money was pure and based on merit as nobody collected anything from them before releasing the money.