Pay N20bn owed in pension, gratuity before handover, NLC urges Borno Gov.

WorldStage Newsonline—-With few months to the end of the current administration in Borno State, the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) has urged the State’s Governor, Kashim Shettima to clear the N20 billion being owed pensioners in gratuity and pension before he leaves office.

The NLC Chairman in the state, Mr Titus Abana, made the call in an interview in Maiduguri.

Abana said that the last time gratuity of retirees were paid in the state, was in 2013, noting that all efforts to get the government to pay was very frustrating.

“In spite of the release of  tranche of the Paris Club Refund, the state government has not paid the backlog of gratuity and pension being owed retirees.

“We met with the governor to push or these payments and he promised  to do so before he leaves.

“He said he will not want his predecessor to inherit any burden from his government and promised he will pay all arrears of pension, gratuities accumulated by his government and the past government.

“We are reminding him to also pay the backlog of promotion arrears and leave grant of workers which had been pending for more than three years due to the biometric verification.

”No worker has been paid any benefit in the last three years since the verification started,”he said.

Abana decried that the exercise had exposed many  workers to untold frustration and hardship.

“Many retirees have died untimely death due to frustration and hardship.” he said.

He also urged the governor to allocate the government’s 1,000 estate, Lagacy housing estate to the civil servant to address their  accommodation problems.

The NLC Chairman explained that  workers expectations on the new administration was very high, noting that it must carry the civil servants  along in all its plans and policies if it wants to succeed.

He urged the incoming government to expedite action on the proposed 30 per cemt minimum wage across the three tiers of government.

”The N18,000 minimum wage witnessed poor implementation in Shani, Chibok, Askira Uba, Hawul and Bayo Local Government Areas.

“We also urge him to suspend the Biometric verification exercise which was not yielding any result but an avenue of enriching few,”he said.

Abana also want the new government to lift what he called the ”decade long lacuna” on employment and provide opportunities for the teeming youths in the state civil service.

“Many workers are retiring everyday but no employment opportunities are provided in the state. Employment is being  done secretly to a few privileged ones,” he said.

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