Chairman of Bauchi State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Alhaji Habu Gar, has disclosed that the state government is owing retirees N27 billion accumulated gratuities.
He disclosed this in Bauchi while reacting to the release of N100 million by the state government to reduce the backlog of the gratuity.
He said that though the amount released was paltry considering the magnitude of arrears owed, it was still better compared to none release of the funds by previous administrations in the state.
In his words,
“If the previous administrations embarked on such exercise, we would not have been talking about accumulated gratuities.
“I, therefore, urge my members yet to enjoy the gesture, to be patient because gradually, it will reach them.
“I have received over 2,000 phone calls from my members, some commending the government over the gesture, while some were demanding to know their fate.
“I want to tell them that the exercise commenced with retirees who retired in the year 2010 and early 2011.
“Government has promised that it will be a monthly exercise, therefore, I am sure that in no distant time, everyone will be paid.”
He also called on the government to adhere to its promise to enable the retirees, most of whom have suffered in the last nine years, enjoy their sweat.
He commended the government for according priority to families of deceased retirees, which according to him, would enable them off-set their rents, school fees and even build houses.
The chairman advised the state government to take steps at ensuring that the exercise was not marred by fraudulent act.
Special Adviser to Gov. Bala Muhammed on Civil Service Matters, Mr Abdon Dalla-Gin, confirmed the amount owed, saying the debt profile was within the region of N28 billion or N29 billion.