From Mohammed Muktar Umar, Bauchi
The rising number of retiring civil servants has led to a sharp increase in the arrears of pension and gratuity in Bauchi, the state’s pension board has said.
Director of Administration and Finance of the board, Sama’ila Ahmed, said 70 to 90 people retire monthly from the state civil service.
Ahmed, who spoke during the ministerial briefing by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state, explained that
the board has in the last two years treated 1, 864 cases of civil servants out of 1, 894 it received.
He said 1, 580 civil servants retired, 20 withdrew their services from the state government while 264 died within the period.
Ahmed disclosed that as at May 2017, there were 7,659 pensioners on the board’s payroll.
Despite financial difficulties, Governor Mohammed Abubakar has been paying 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, inherited unpaid gratuities, death gratuities, pensions backlog and contract gratuities from August 2011 to May 2015,” he said.
He also stressed that government is not unaware of the hardship being experienced by pensioners due to non-payment of the backlog of gratuity arrears and the negative effect of the economic meltdown on all citizens of the state.
“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,” added.
Accumulated gratuity backlog being owed to the state civil servants over the years is believed to be about N16 billion.