Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya says inspite of the 14 billion Naira backlog inherited by his administration in pensions and gratuity arrears, the State Government under his leadership will do everything within available resources to settle the entitlements of those who served the State in various capacities of responsibility so that they will reap the benefits of their labour and meritorious services.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya stated this at the flag-off of the second phase of the payment of gratuities for retired civil servants covering the period of January to December 2015.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, the Governor said under no circumstance will his administration develop a cold feet in the payment of the benefits of retirees, explaining that the seeming slow pace in the payment of gratuities was due to the humongous debt inherited by his administration in that regard and the need to put the records straight on who gets what, when and how.
“A responsible government cannot just start dishing out funds without following due process and knowing whether an individual is entitled to whatever he or she is getting or not getting, that is why we constituted a committee to verify the correctness or otherwise and advise Government accordingly so that we can pay only those who deserve to be paid and what he or she is supposed to get”.
The Governor said the backlog of about 14 billion Naira inherited by his administration had also placed a cog in the wheel of the State Government’s determination to clear all entitlements owed retired civil servants in the State but assured that Government will get to the root of the matter and address same for the overall benefit of the retired civil servants.
He said his administration is saddened by the fact that the gratuity of 2015 was being paid in 2021, leaving behind an army of retired civil servants in pain.
He called on the retirees to be patient as his administration resolves the backlog, stressing that government is not celebrating the payment which has dragged since 2015.
“We had started with first tranche of payment for 2014. In 2021 we are paying 2015, We feel saddened and we are not celebrating, we are not happy we should be paying 2020 and not 2015 in 2021,” he said
He assured that government will continue to remain responsive to the yearnings of the senior citizens even as he emphasized that his administration is putting machinery in place to address the plight of local government retirees.
Earlier speaking, the Chairman of the committee for the payment of outstanding gratuity and states’s Auditor-General, Muhammad Buba Gombe said the release of the 775 million naira for the payment of gratuity to over 700 retired civil servants in the State for the year 2015 was coming after the State Governor had earlier approved the sum of 1.6 billion for the settlement of 2014 retirees.
He assured retired civil servants in the State that the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya will continue to do everything necessary to pay their entitlements within available resources.
The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Gombe State Chapter, Mohammed Abubakar thanked Governor Muhammadu Inuwa for the payment of the inherited gratuity, calling on him to sustain the gesture.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Binta Malle appreciated Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for deeming it fit to pay a backlog he inherited from previous administration and encouraged him not to be swayed by the negligence of the past but to remain resolute in his administration’s commitment to do that which is good for the people.