Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, on Tuesday announced the release of N12 billion to clear gratuities owed 4,862 retirees who left the state and local government civil service from 2013 to 2017.
Flagging off the payment with symbolic presentation of cheques to some retirees on Tuesday at the Government House in Maiduguri, Mr Zulum explained that the fund was obtained through a loan provided by the Zenith Bank.
The governor recalled that in June and September 2019, the state government had released N3 billion to clear gratuities of 1,684 retirees who left the civil service between 2013 to 2019, at lower ranks, mostly clerks, drivers and messengers.
Mr Zulum noted that while N12 billion was not enough to settle backlog of gratuities, appreciable number of retirees, almost 5,000, would be cleared this time around.
He, therefore, appealed to those who would not be part of the N12bn batch to be patient, saying that the state government was working on settling all gratuities as soon as possible.
“The accumulated backlog of gratuities over the years has been worrisome to successive administrations. We are making frantic effort to settle all outstanding gratuities and pension arrears of our retired Civil servants.
“We decided to take 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,” Mr Zulum said.
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.
Mr Zulum also recalled that the state government had recently completed the rehabilitation of Musa Usman Secretariat, including provision of furniture, assuring his administration’s commitment to sustain the payment of retirement benefits to pensioners as at when due.
The governor announced that the state government had commenced the automatic migration of retirees from salary to pension since May, 2020, disclosing that, so far, over 900 retirees had benefited from the process.