The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has approved the release of N12 billion to offset unpaid gratuities of 4,862 retirees that left the state and local government civil service between 2013 and 2017.
Zulum added that efforts were ongoing to offset the accumulated backlog of gratuities and pensions, assuring retirees not listed among the current beneficiaries that funds would be secured to remit the funds into their accounts.
He announced the release on Tuesday at the official flag-off of symbolic presentation of cheques to retirees at the government house in Maiduguri, the state capital.
Before this disbursement, the governor had released N3 billion in June and September 2019, to clear gratuities of 1,684 retirees who left the civil service between 2013 and 2019, at lower ranks, mostly clerks, drivers, and messengers.
He explained that the fund was obtained through a loan provided by the Zenith Bank.
The Governor, while noting that the N12 billion was a loan secured from an indigenous commercial bank, stated that it was not enough to settle backlog of gratuities owed by the government.
“The accumulated backlog of gratuities over the years has been worrisome to successive administrations. We are making frantic efforts to settle all outstanding gratuities and pension arrears of our retired Civil servants. We decided to take a far-reaching decision to reduce the waiting by retired state and local civil servants in the State. We hope this N12b will reduce poverty and stimulate the economy” Zulum added.
Speaking on issues of pension, the governor explained that from May 2019 to date, a total of 770 complaints were received out of which 650 were rectified and already enjoying their pension while awaiting their arrears to be paid soon.
Zulum, who assured the workers that his administration was committed to sustaining prompt payment of retirement benefits to pensioners, recalled that the state government recently completed the rehabilitation of Musa Usman Secretariat, including provision of furniture.