By Mohammed Mukta, Bauchi
Bauchi State Pension Board has in the past two years of the present administration in the state treated 1, 864 cases of civil servants with 1, 580 retired during the period, with 20 withdrawn from the service and 264 deaths recorded.
The treated cases of civil servants, according to the Board, were out of the retired numbers of 1, 600, and 273 death cases, as well as the withdrawal of 21 from the services of the state government.
The director of administration and finance, Sama’ila Ahmed who represented the board that has not been reconstituted during the period said in all, 1, 864 cases were treated out of the 1, 894 it received.
Ahmed, at the on-going state ministerial briefing in Bauchi Tuesday, gave a total number of pensioners on the board’s payroll as 7, 659 as at May this year, said however the number of retiring civil servant keep on the increase at a rate of 70 – 90 monthly.
The director explained that the growing number of new enrolment into the board monthly is causing increase in the accumulated gratuity arrears, which he declined to give the accumulating amount.
Alhaji Sama’ila Ahmed told the journalists that in spite of financial difficulties, the present administration of Governor Mohammed Abubakar is being able to pay monthly pension as at when due.
“With regards to the payment of gratuity and death benefits, the present administration when it came to power in May 2015, has inherited unpaid gratuities, death gratuities, pensions backlog and contract gratuities from August 2011 to May 2015”,he said.
He also stated that despite economic meltdown and its negative effect on citizens, the state government is not oblivious of the hardship being experienced by the pensioners due to non-payment of the backlog of gratuity arrears.
Ahmed submitted, “It is our fervent hope that when the financial situation of the government improves, funds would be available to the board for the settlement of these entitlements”
Though the director declined to give conservative gratuities backlog the government is owing retired civil servants, it is reliably gathered that the amount is over N16 billion.