Laleye Dipo in Minna
Dissatisfied with the way the Niger State Government is handling the payment of gratuities to retirees, all the groups handling the issue have now collapsed into one organisation, the Joint Action Committee (JAC).
At a meeting attended by the leadership of the groups, it was resolved that all powers should be vested in the JAC to pursue the payment of outstanding gratuities some dating back to 2016.
The groups that formed the JAC are the Association of Retired Permanent Secretaries, Association of Local Government Retirees, Association of Retired Directors, the Concerned Citizens Group, and Pressure Group.
Two members from each of these groups were picked to form the JAC.
It was learnt that at the first meeting of the JAC, a former Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sani Barde, was picked as the leader while Mr. Tanko Mohammed was made the secretary.
Among other things, the JAC is to harmonise the positions of all the groups for presentation to the state government, and also put pressure on the state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, to pay the backlog of gratuities before leaving office next
The JAC, it was learnt, decided that peaceful means would first be adopted to convince the government to pay, and “if this doesn’t work, we will embark on mass protest from the local government areas to the state capital.”
The Director General of the state Pension Board, Mr. Saidu Namaska, had two weeks ago while paying gratuities to 178 retirees disclosed that the state government owed 14,200 retirees over N14 billion. At the ceremony, N1 billion was paid to the retirees.