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Yobe governor flays colleagues over non-payment of salaries, pensions

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Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe state


* Niger releases N30m to avert strikes by judicial officers

There is no excuse that can justify non-payment of salaries and pensions of retired workers, the governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Gaidam has said.The governor, who stated this yesterday in Abuja while commissioning the headquarters of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), urged his fellow governors to place payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities on the first line charge to enable early settlement.

“I advice other governors to be prudent and accountable in the management of the scare resources that are accruing from the federation account. If you are prudent, you are organised and it helps you to properly plan on how to apply the little resources your are receiving from the Federal Government. This high level of planning will effortlessly ensure that salaries are paid as at when due. If you are prudent, your actually should be able to achieve paying worker’s salary and achieve all others things in your plan.”

The governor explained that insurgencies in the North-Eastern part of the country have not deterred the state from paying salaries of its workers as and when due.He added that Yobe did not also rely on bailout from the Federal Government to pay salaries and ensure pensioners get their retirement benefits one month after retirement.

His words: “Despite the unfortunate security challenges experienced in our state as a result of the activities of the insurgents that have drained substantial resources of the state to support the war, we made it a deliberate policy to pay salaries and pensions as the first line charge before any expenditure. For this reason, while many states had backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuities, Yobe State is one of the few states, which have consistently paid salaries of staff without resort to the bailout of funds from the Federal Government. We have also made it a deliberate policy that all civil servants in our State start receiving payment of pensions one month after retirement.”

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) called on the Federal Government to support its bid to establish a medical facility that will cater for the health needs of retirees.The President, Abel Afolayan, who decried the plight of the retired senior citizens, said a medical centre dedicated to pensioners would offer cheap and affordable healthcare.

He said: “I appeal for more support from governors and we already lined up more capital projects ahead of us. We want to have a medical centre, where we would be taking care of our aged members. We intend to establish the pensioners’ radio and television station where we can reach out to our members easily and also use it as a tool to mount pressure on government and enlighten the public about the plight of our people all over the nation.”

Meanwhile, Niger State government has averted the looming strike by Magistrates and Sharia Court judges in the state with the release of N30m for the wardrobe allowances for judicial officers. The Magistrates and Sharia Court Judges had earlier threatened strike if government continues to be insensitive to their demands.

The government also in collaboration with the state Police Commissioner agreed that security personnel would be given to the Magistrates and Sharia court judges.The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Nasara Danmalam, made this known when he addressed a meeting of Chairmen and Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association from the North Central Zone in Minna.

Magistrates and Sharia court judges had in a petition last week gave the state government a 21 day ultimatum within which to improve the condition under which they worked or they would shun the courts indefinitely. He also disclosed that the wardrobe allowances and security details to the judges and magistrates would be enjoyed from this week.

The AG also told the meeting that the budget of the ministry had been increased since the administration came into power, which had enabled the ministry to discharge its functions in a well dignified manner.He disclosed that special courts are to be established to try suspects as one of the ways to decongest the prisons, adding that courts would commence sitting in Kontagora soonest.


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Ibrahim Gaidam
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