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Kaduna Govt. approves N1.6bn for pension, gratuity arrears

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Kaduna State Government has approved disbursement of N1.6 billion for payment of pensions, gratuities and death benefits to retired civil servants in the state.
It added that to prevent corruption, the State Pension Bureau would conduct physical verification exercise for pensioners and that only those verified would be scheduled for payment.
Confirming the funds approval, Secretary of the State Pension Bureau, Salamatu Isah, explained that the physical verification was necessary to ensure that only genuine pensioners were paid by the government.
She said the physical verification exercise would last for two weeks and that the Bureau has sent information to Local Government officers to inform retirees on the exercise.
Isah, who disclosed the approved funds through a statement available to The Guild, hinted that during the verification exercise, the pensioners would be mandated to provide their complete information, including correct account numbers and BVN.
While disclosing that the Bureau was currently paying the 10th batch of civil servants on Saturday, Salamatu lamented that there were people in batch 1-9 whose banks were unable to pay because they supplied incorrect account numbers and BVN.
She said: “To prevent this going forward, we 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.
“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 arears of pension, gratuity and death benefits that accumulated since 2011.
“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 exercise to collect complete information from the beneficiaries because some of them did not give complete information to the Bureau when they retired.
“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”, Isah added.

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