By Rita Michael, Bauchi
Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Bauchi, Yakubu Mohammed, has disclosed that Bauchi government was owing pensioners N19 billion gratuities.
He said that both Bauchi and local government councils in the state are owing pensioners gratuities backlog of about N19 billion.
Mohammed disclosed this in Bauchi.
His words: “We wrote a letter to the Governor on the cumulative gratuities following which the government set up committee to verify gratuity vouchers and it was discovered that N14.6 billion gratuity was accumulated before the inception of the present administration and thereafter to date over N3 billion was accumulated.”
He explained that the committee has since submitted its report to the government that is yet to effect payment of any gratuity, despite the billions of naira accruing in form of bailout and monthly statutory allocations.
He further explained that as a result of non-payment of entitlement to pensioners, most of their children were forced to abandon schooling, saying, “For one to survive, he must eat, must take care of his health, and so forth.
“We have good faith when we voted M. A Abubakar that he will wipe out all our tears for the manner previous administration treated us only to realize that this situation is even worse than the previous one.”
Mohammed stated that the gratuities backlog yet to be paid to retirees is the genesis to all their problems, hence the need for the state government to hasten the settlement of pensioners’ entitlements.
Mohammed also spoke about the constitutional provisions which provide for a review of pensions after every more five years which raised minimum pension from N4, 400 in 2008 to N12, 700 in 2013 through pensions two upward reviews under the Yuguda administration.
“We have the backing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria constitution 1999 as amended under section 210 sub-sections 1, 2, 3 that after every five years pension must be reviewed or when there is increment in workers salary, whichever comes earlier,"he said.