Laleye Dipo in Minna
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, wednesday in Minna assented to the New Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) bill, assuring retirees that their entitlements would continue to be paid as at when due.
He also assured serving civil servants that their welfare would always be a priority for the administration.
The new CPS bill replaced a private member bill which was passed by the state House of Assembly last year but was not assented to by the governor before the executive sent a revised version to the legislature.
The revised bill was passed into law by the legislators about a month ago.
Bello said his administration was committed to ensuring that the welfare of its work force was given priority attention, promising also that payment of salaries of workers would continue to be paid promptly.
â€œFrom time to time, we will continue to make necessary adjustments to improve on the quality of life of our civil servants. They need to be properly taken care of. Government will continue to find ways to improve their lots.â€
The governor also assured retiring civil servants, both at the state and local government levels of prompt payment of their terminal benefits, stressing that his administration would not deny or hold on to the retirement benefits of any officer who had put in 35 years of service.
â€œOur retiring civil servants have given 35 years of their lives to the service of the state, government must reduce their hardship by ensuring payment of their pension. We have to ensure everyone is paid as at when due,â€ the governor assured.
On gratuity, Bello said machinery had been put in place to calculate and structure its payment over a period of time, while government would continue to honour the monthly payment of pension to those under the old pension scheme.
In the last three months, retirees under the CPS had protested severally to both the governor and House of Assembly, asking for the payment of their entitlements.
During one of such protests, a male retiree reportedly slumped and died.