Kaduna State Government has released the sum of N1.6 billion for payment of pensions, gratuities and death benefits to retired civil servants, the Executive Secretary of the State Pension Bureau, Salamatu Idris Isah, has said.
According t o Salamatu, who spoke with journalist in her office, the Bureau has commenced physical verification of pensioners, as only those verified will be scheduled for payment, adding that physical verification is necessary to ensure that only genuine pensioners are paid. This will also ensure that pensioners supplied complete information, including correct account numbers and BVN.
While disclosing that the Bureau is currently paying the 10th batch of civil servants scheduled, Salamatu lamented that there are people in batch 1-9 whose banks were unable to pay because they supplied incorrect account numbers and BVN, thus the Bureau will ensure that all these information are supplied before names are forwarded to the banks. She also called on civil servants who have retired from the state and local governments to come to the Bureau with all relevant documents and information required.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that the current administration inherited huge backlog of unpaid retirement and death benefits running into several billions of naira which previous governments failed to clear, saying it is impossible for any government to clear such amount in one swoop. She
commended the current administration for regular release of funds to clear the liabilities in batches.
In 2016, Kaduna state disclosed that it inherited N15 billion arrears of pension, gratuity and death benefits that accumulated since 2011.
Salamatu said: “we commenced payment of gratuities and death benefits on the 15th of September 2020 for batch 10. State government released the sum of 1.6 billion naira, and we will pay pensioners from the State and 23 Local Governments that have been scheduled in the batch that is ready for payment.”
“We want pensioners and next of kin of those who died to come over for physical verification. We also want to use the exercise to collect complete information from the beneficiaries because some of them did not give complete information to the Bureau when they retired.”
Salamatu lamented that there are pensioners in the previous nine batches whose banks were unable to pay even though the money has been released because they supplied incomplete information while some supplied wrong account number and BVN.
She said the physical verification exercise will last for two weeks and the Bureau “have sent information to Local Government officers to inform retirees to come over for the exercise. But even after this exercise for batch 10, we want to revisit the list from batch 1-9 to clear those who didn’t get paid because of incomplete information. The money is there in the bank and the people have not been paid because of incomplete information”, Salamatu said.