2nd December, 2023
By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano
It was a moment of joy for pensioners at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, on Saturday, when the state Governor, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf flagged-off the settlement of backlog of gratuity and death benefits of pensioners with a whopping sum of N6 billion.
No fewer than 6, 000 pensioners benefitted from the first phase of the settlement programme, which Governor Yusuf said will run into 20 months.
According to him, the gesture was in fullfilment of part of his campaign promises as contained in the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) blueprint.
Among the beneficiaries were relatives of dead civil servants who also collected the death benefits of their deceased relatives, who died while serving the state as civil servants.
The targeted beneficiaries were those who retired or died in active service between 2016 and 2019.
Governor Yusuf, who officially flagged off the disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries, said the government saved to pay the pensioners, despite meagre resources at its disposal.
He lamented that his administration inherited an empty treasury from the immediate-past administration, with a debt of over N355 billion.
Governor Yusuf further stated that even in the face of harsh economic realities, his administration has initiated gigantic developmental programmes in physical infrastructure, education, health and agriculture.
He added that his administration has also succeeded in blocking leakages, through which funds were allegedly being siphoned into private pockets by the immediate-past administration.
Governor Yusuf said his administration was passionate about the poor living conditions of pensioners, particularly those at the lower cadre.
The Governor added that to ensure the continuation of the settlement of the backlog, N10 billion was proposed in the 2024 budget for more inclusion of gratuity and death benefits for the families of the deceased civil servants to enjoy their legitimate entitlements.
He made a clarion call to the beneficiaries of the funds, to make judicious use of what they collected and invest wisely in lawful businesses for more income to cater for their day-to-day needs and other necessities of life.