Governor Abdullahi A. Sule approves N1bn to clear outstanding gratuity from 1999-2010.

Economic hardship: Governor Sule approves N1bn to clear outstanding gratuity from 1999-2010.

Governor Abdullahi Sule has approved the disbursements of the sum of one billion naira meant to clear the outstanding gratuity of both local and state government retirees from 1999 to 2010, numbering over 1000.

Governor Sule announced this when he undertook an on the spot assessment of the ongoing screening exercise for over 700 local government and 300 state retirees at the headquarters of the Nasarawa State Bureau for Pension Administration, on Wednesday.

According to the Governor, the one billion naira would clear the full gratuity of retirees both at the state and local government levels starting from 1999 to 2010.

This is just at Governor Sule explained that his administration inherited a backlog of gratuity from the creation of the state in 1996 till date.

He told journalists at the venue of the screening that he was there to physically monitor the exercise, which he said, was meant to alleviate the plight of the retirees by paying them their full entitlements so that they can be able to start something.

Governor Sule said with improved revenue accruing to the state, his administration saw the need to clear off gratuity of retirees starting from 1999 to 2010.

“I was told the money would clear the gratuity of retirees from 1999 to 2010. Both at the local government and state levels. My dream again is that from 2011, when the amount increases significantly, whether anybody knows somebody in government or not, again, we will just follow the first-come-first-serve to complete the payment for 2011 by the end of this year. At the beginning of next year, we will pay purely from 2012,” he stated.

He added that the gesture is meant to bring sucour to the retirees who are presently experiencing economic hardship.

“People are facing a lot of challenges today due to the economic hardship. That is the reason why we believe if we pay them their money, some of them are getting one million, some two million and even three million, the money will go a long way in reducing the hardship.

“This is in addition to whatever interventions we are having, whether it is food items or whatever, let us pay them what is due to them, and that is their own gratuity,” he added.

The Governor expressed optimism that with 500 local government retirees, out of the over 700 and 100 state retirees, out of the over 300 already screened, the beneficiaries would begin to receive their payments by Tuesday next week.

Also speaking, Alhaji Suleiman Musa Nagogo, Director General, Nasarawa State Pension Bureau, explained that the screening exercise, which started on Monday, 13th February, will last till Monday 19th February.

“We are going to clear the issue of gratuity in respect of all those who retired from 1999 until 2010 for both the state and local government retirees.

“Once we are able to handle those ones from 1999 to 2010, and as His Excellency, Governor Sule said, additional funds would be made available to clear that of retirees from 2011/2012, in order to make sure we have addressed the challenge of payment of gratuity in Nasarawa State.

The DG further clarified that retired permanent secretaries numbering 60 would receive N2m each while those who are deceased are likely to receive N4m out of their entitlements.

He noted that since the inception of the present administration under Governor Sule, both l9cal and state pensioners have been receiving one hundred percent of the pension, with the pensioners already paying their February pension.

Alhaji Nagogo used the opportunity to clear the air on why, in the past, the bureau was paying retirees over one hundred thousand naira as gratuity.

“Please recall that payment of this gratuity is being done on a quarterly basis which means that we gather the amount we have to receive in three months and announce to the people to come and collect their gratuity.

“But we don’t sit as a Bureau for Pension Administration and say we are paying one hundred thousand naira. There is a committee called the Gratuity Disbursement Committee which is headed by the Deputy Governor of the state that sits down and look at the entire amount that has accrued for payment of gratuity and look at the recommendation that came from the BPA and how many people they can take at that quarter. It’s the same process we have been following in disbursing this money,” he stated.

The DG, however dismissed, claims that files belonging to some retirees were missing.

“Whoever said his file is missing, I think he is only claiming so. I have never received complaints of anybody’s file not being able to be traced in this office,” he said.


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