My attention has been drawn to the non-payment of pensions and gratuity of some retired Civil servants in Borno state since 2016, which led to demonstration by hundreds of retirees demanding for the immediate payment of their entitlements, some days ago in Maiduguri. I wish to express serious concerns over this distasteful development, especially the untold hardships caused to these retirees who have made a lot of sacrifices in serving the state. It is unfortunate some of the retirees were said to have died without receiving their benefits.
This pathetic situation is unacceptable, especially given the fact that Borno state Government had received the Paris Club funds twice from the Federal Government amounting to millions of Dollars recently, which was meant for the payment of salary arrears, leave grants, pension and gratuity. The Borno state Governor was quoted saying that about Five Hundred Million Naira was saved from the Biometrics Exercise and yet Government did not find it necessary to pay the retirees.
I urge the Borno state government to, as a matter of urgency, pay the pension and gratuity of these retirees without resorting to delay tactics of establishing a Committee or to flimsy excuse of conducting biometric exercise which had been poorly handled by those who neither have the expertise nor the ability to efficiently handle it., which explains why it has taken too long to complete the exercise and make the report public and end sufferings of many workers in the state.
Consequently, I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in this serious matter and investigate the whereabout of the Paris Club funds released to the Borno state government for the purpose of paying the retirees. I wish to sympathise with the retirees and their families over the unnecessary sufferings caused them by the non-payment of their entitlements despite their contributions to the development of Borno state.
ALHAJI MUHAMMAD IMAM (2019 PDP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE)
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)