A member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Dalyop Fom, on Tuesday, called on the Plateau State Government to urgently pay the gratuity and retirement benefits of the state and local government retirees which amounts to N18 billion.
Fom stated this when he presented a Motion of Urgent Public Importance during the House Plenary, at the chambers of the State Assembly.
He said, it is imperative to bring to the knowledge of this House the fact that some of those who retired since 2015 were only paid 15% of the total sum of their gratuity, owing largely to corrupt and unhealthy practices of some of the officers vested with the responsibility of the computation and payment of such gratuities, who in most cases would request gratification/bribe in order to fast track the process of payment.
Fom, who represents Jos South Constituency in the State Assembly and a member of the main opposition PDP, called on the House to as a matter of urgency resolve, to call on the State Government to direct the relevant agencies to pay outstanding benefits of all retirees of state and local government within a shortest possible time. He also advised that a special committee be constituted to investigate the issues of corrupt practices within the state pension board.
The lawmaker said retirees are a special category of people who have meritoriously served the state and have put in most of their productive years in total service to their father land and need proper and special care in their old age. He maintained that the payment of full settlement of their benefits or entitlements is the responsibility of Government.
Responding, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ayuba Abok and other members adopted the motion and immediately directed the state government to start the payment of the outstanding gratuities and retirement benefits of the retirees.
The lawmakers, however, revealed that, according to their findings, the backlog of the gratuity is dated back from 2005 to date.
They acknowledged that, Governor Simon Lalong’s administration has done its best in the settlement of pension and prompt payment of salaries, but there is also need to settle the outstanding gratuities and retirement benefits of retirees.