Segun Awofadeji in Gombe
The Gombe State Government has commenced the payment of second tranche of backlog of gratuity owed to 2015 retirees in the state.
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya had last week released the sum of N755 million for this purpose.
Yahaya vowed that he would ensure that the retired civil servants got what they deserved from the state government as his administration would continue to bring relief to the entire workforce in the state and its senior citizens.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, remarked that no civil servant who served the state meritoriously up to retirement period would be treated with disdain.
He reiterated his commitment to off-set backlog of inherited gratuity until all verified retired civil servants in the state would get their entitlements.
He called on retirees in the state to remain calm as the state government under his leadership would not develop a cold feet towards the payment of their entitlements, whether in active service or in retirement
The governor said that despite inheriting a humongous amount of liabilities in pensions and gratuities, his administration would continue to work out modalities within available resources to see to it that retired civil servants collect and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
“We are determined to ensure that workers who have served the state and retired enjoy dignified and comfortable retirement life. This is exactly the reason for the payment of outstanding liabilities of gratuity.”
Governor Yahaya decried that local government retirees in the state have not received their gratuities since 2012, disclosing that he had already set up a committee to ascertain the records with a view to pay them soon.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Muhammad Gambo Magaji, said so far over N3 billion has been paid by the present administration from the backlog of gratuity left behind by the previous government.
“We had started with the first tranche of payment for 2014 and we are now paying 2015,”Magaji said.
He assured that the government would remain responsive to the yearnings of the senior citizens and emphasised that Governor Inuwa Yahaya had put machinery in place to address the plight of local government retirees.
The Committee Chairman on Verification and the Payment of Gratuity, Mr. Muhammad Buba Gombe, who is also the state’s auditor-general, explained that the N755 million earmarked for the payment of the 2015 second phase of gratuity represented second 50 per cent in succession.
Gombe explained that about 700 of those that retired in 2015 were expected to benefit from the second phase of the payment.
He maintained that the state government has put machinery in motion to ensure the systematic and steady payment of liabilities owed in pensions and gratuities.
The Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Gombe State, Mr. Adamu Danjuma, thanked Governor Yahaya for deeming it necessary to settle the backlog of gratuity owed to retired civil servants in the state.
Danjuma expressed confidence in the administrative acumen of the overnor and his commitment to continue the payment of outstanding liabilities.