Borno commences payment of N1b gratuities to retirees
The Borno State Government has commenced payment of N1billion gratuities to retired workers in the civil service.
The payment is part of the five-year N20 billion outstanding gratuities to retirees in the state.
Announcing the release and payment in Maiduguri recently, Head of Service (HoS), Yerima Saleh, said Governor Kashim Shettima has allocated the first installment of N1billion for immediate payment.
He said this is out of the five-year accumulated N20 billion gratuities of retired workers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and 27 Local Governments in the state.
According to him, the state government suspended the payment of gratuities since June 2013 due to economic recession.
The State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Titus Ali Abana, however, said the gratuities of retired workers have accumulated to over N20 billion.
He said the delay in payment constituted the reason the State and Local Government workers and teachers served government a notice of strike.
Speaking on mode of payments, Saleh said: “The state government has commenced the payment of N1billion out of the accumulated sum.
“Out of this N1 billion, N500 million is for state government retirees. The other N500 million is to be divided into two, where N250 million each be paid to primary school teachers and local government retirees.”
According to him, the payment will continue until the N20 billion backlogs of gratuities are offset.
While thanking the governor for the release, Abana however said that considering the number of pensioners owed gratuities, N1billion is grossly inadequate.
He added that labour had expected the government to allocate between N5 billion and N10billion to offset substantial part of the arrears.
He urged the state government to resume the monthly allocation of N150 million for the payment of gratuities, which was stopped in 2013.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Usman Zannah also called on retirees, especially the ones at council level whose gratuities were not paid to exercise patience.
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