The Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, on Sunday approved the release of N825 million to clear 50 per cent of arrears of gratuities to 1000 retired civil servants, a government statement said.
The approval is the second of such payments to retirees since the state government and workers’ union agreed to a piecemeal payment of the backlog of gratuities.
The governor’s spokesperson, Isa Gusau, said in a statement that the latest approval targets payment of gratuities to the second group of “1,000 former civil servants who retired at intermediate ranks between 2013 to date.
“This is coming two months after the governor had in July 2019 released gratuities to the first batch of 1,684 low ranking ex-workers that retired from 2013 to June 2019.”
He said the fund had already been transferred to various bank accounts provided by each of the 1,000 retirees.
“As directed by the Governor, this payment, to continue steadily, covers 50% of each of the 1,000 retired worker’s entire gratuity. The balance of 50% will surely be paid in another phase.”
He said the list of those paid will be made public this week. He advised any of them unable to confirm payment to file a complaint through the union of pensioners in the state to the office of the head of the service, which coordinates the payments.
Mr. Gusau said, “with the negotiated modality of payment, gratuities of retired workers, which had accumulated, will eventually be cleared.”
He said, however, that payments of monthly pensions to the retired workers in Borno State have largely been regular in the last eight years.
“Both gratuity and pensions are government-controlled schemes meant to serve as livelihoods for salaried employees after their retirement. Gratuity is an end of service lump sum employers are expected to pay retirees or their dependents s as gratitude for many years of a lifetime put into work. Pension, on the other hand, is fixed contributory sum paid monthly to retired workers in place of salaries they were used to getting, ” Mr. Gusau takes the pain to explain.
”In August 2019, Governor Zulum had approved the payment of 2018 outstanding leave grants to 9,898 workers in the state; also approved payment of gratuities to families of 185 deceased pensioners and granted compassionate releases to families of 236 pensioners who also passed on.”
Before Governor Zulum assumed office on May 29, the labor union said Borno State government owed retired workers and serving civil servants gratuity and arrears of unpaid leave grants in excess of N20 billion.