Bauchi state Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), said on Thursday that the state government owed retirees N27 billion accumulated gratuities.
The State Chairman of the pensioners, Alhaji Habu Gar, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi while reacting to the release of N100 millions by the state government to reduce backlog of the gratuity.
Gar said that though the amount released was paltry considering the magnitude of arrears owed, it was still better compared to none release of the funds by previous administrations in the state.
“If the previous administrations embarked on such exercise, we would not have being talking about accumulated gratuities.
“I therefore urge my members yet to enjoy the gesture, to be patient because gradually, it will reach them.
“I have received over 2,000 phone calls from my members, some commending the government over the gesture, while some were demanding to know their fate.
“I want to tell them that the exercise commenced with retirees who retired in year 2010 and early 2011.
“Government has promised that it will be a monthly exercise, therefore, I am sure that in no distant time, everyone will be paid,” he said.
Gar called on the government to adhere to its promise to enable the retirees,most of whom have suffered in the last nine years, enjoy their sweat.
He commended the government for according priority to families of deceased retirees, which according to him, would enable them off-set their rents, school fees and even build houses.
The chairman however advised the state government to take steps at ensuring that the exercise was not marred by fraudulent act.
Speaking to NAN, the Special Adviser to Gov. Bala Muhammed on Civil Service Matters, Mr Abdon Dalla-Gin, confirmed the amount owed, saying the debt profile was within the region of N28 billion or N29 billion.(NAN)