NLC charges Shettima to pay owed pension, gratuity before handover


Nigerian Labor Congress

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) on Thursday appealed to Gov. 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 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 an untimely death due to frustration and hardship,” he said.

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He also urged the governor to allocate the government’s 1,000 estates, 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 cent 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 every day but no employment opportunities are provided in the state. Employment is being done secretly to a few privileged ones,” he said.

Abana commended the government for building mega schools to revolutionize the education sector but urged them to also prioritised on the welfare of teachers.

“The teachers in Borno are some of the worst paid.

“The state government should not only focused on building modern schools with air conditions, but they should also build teachers with the capacity to teach in the schools.