Again, Gombe  Pays over N5.4bn Gratuity Backlog to State, LGA Retirees

Again, Gombe  Pays over N5.4bn Gratuity Backlog to State, LGA Retirees

Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya, yesterday flagged-off a new phase of payment of backlog of gratuities to over 4,000 state and local government retirees with a promise to clear all entitlements to retired civil servants in due course.

In this round of  payment, the state government is disbursing the sum of N5,440,045,865.73 to both state and local government retirees.

With this development, the debt owed retirees has been reduced from inherited N21billion to N7billion.

Speaking during the ceremony, which was held at the Government House, Governor  Yahaya restated his administration’s strong commitment towards improving the welfare of civil servants and retirees alike, recognising their invaluable contributions to the development of Gombe State.

The governor recalled that upon assumption of office in 2019, one of the key challenges his administration inherited was the backlog of over N21 billion in gratuity arrears owed to state and local government retirees.

He maintained that in its pursuit for justice and fairness, the state government under his leadership he has made it a priority to address the issue head-on, hence in the past five years, over N7 billion of backlog of gratuities have been cleared thus providing much-needed relief and dignity to retirees who dedicated their lives to the service of the state.

According to Yahaya, “In this round of payment, we are paying the sum of N5,440,045,865.73 to both state and local government retirees. The state government will settle the backlog of 2018 retirees. In the case of our local government areas, the payment is implemented based on individual resources, with financially capable local governments able to settle more of such obligations than their less capable counterparts.”

The governor added that: “In this regards, Kwami, Funakaye and Nafada Local Government Areas are able to clear all their backlogs; Akko, Billiri, Dukku and Shongom are to settle the ones for 2014 and 2015 retirees; Balanga and Yamaltu Deba are to clear the backlogs of 2013 and 2014 retirees, while Kaltungo and Gombe are to clear the one for 2013 retirees only. This approach will go a long way in entrenching prudence and accountability, because it is only fair for each local government to bear its own burden.”

Governor Yahaya called on civil servants in the state to redouble their efforts and demonstrate commitment to excellence in service delivery, describing their dedication and hard work as integral to the success of the current administration.

Earlier in his welcome address, the state Auditor-General and Chairman of the committee for the payment of outstanding gratuity, Muhammad Buba Gombe, acknowledged the governor’s efforts in addressing the issue of non-payment of gratuity since his assumption of office in 2019.

He remarked that with this recent approval, the backlog of gratuity cleared “brings the total to twelve billion, seven hundred and thirty-six million, one hundred and twenty-eight thousand, eight hundred and eighty-five naira (N12, 736, 128, 885) so far approved by the governor for the payment of gratuity for both state and local government councils.”

In his response on behalf of all the affected retirees, Garba Sama’ila thanked the governor for coming to their rescue at this critical time of economic hardship.

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