Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa on Monday, put Smiles on the faces of Senior Citizens, who have served the government and retired, by paying over N3bn as the backlog of gratuity to over 5000 LG, State Retirees.
The Governor declared that, “So far, we have paid a total sum of N7.9bn out of the N21bn backlog we Inherited from the last Administration.”
This is the fourth time in less than 4 years, that Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has yet again put smiles on the faces of senior citizens comprising State and local government retirees.
With dance steps, broad smiles and songs of appreciation, the retirees received their Cheques during the flag off ceremony of the payment held at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Gombe.
The payments covers retirees from both the employment of the State and the Local Governments.
In his remarks before presenting the Cheques to the beneficiaries, Inuwa Yahaya, maintained that the era of civil servants working and dying without enjoying their gratuities and pensions are over.
According to him, “You have laboured in the service of our dear state, you must also enjoy the fruits of your labour.”
The Governor also said that notwithstanding the gloomy pictures on ground when he came to power, he has consistently kept faith with all the promises he made to the people of Gombe State.
Inuwa Yahaya said that, “Our administration inherited a backlog of over N21bn gratuities for both the State and LGA retirees from the past administration. State pensions obligation was over 14bn while LGA was over 7bn bringing a total of over N21bn in 2019.”
He further said that, “as at today, my administration has paid State Pensioners their 2014, 2015, 2016 and today 2017 entitlements,” disclosing that the total payout for state retirees including today’s payment stands at N6.6bn.
“As for the LGA retirees who have not been paid in 11 years, the 11 LGA’s will today begin payment of a total of N1.3bn. Payment period ranges between 1 and 4 years depending on their financial capacities. The LGA’s will continue to reduce their backlogs as their finances improve,” the Governor said.
He stressed that, “The State retirees were last paid in 2013 while LGA retirees were last paid in 2011. This means that the last administration only paid 2 years gratuity to state workers while the LGA were only paid 6 months throughout the 8-year tenure of the last administration” .
Inuwa Yahaya then revealed that the total gratuity payment by his administration as at today stands at N7.9bn.
“I believe this fulfils my promise that I will not owe a year of gratuity during my years as Governor and Insha Allah, I feel fulfilled that I have kept my promise. And that this promise is being fulfilled to retirees who served diligently, loyally and meritoriously is a great joy to my conscience”, he said joyfully.
The Governor said that he and his team are firm believers in integrity in governance.
” When we came to power, we promised the ordinary people; the downtrodden that we will make life easier and better for them. We said we will provide quality education, and a good healthcare delivery system. We must not shy away from taking responsibility. Ordinary people are part of us. We must not leave anybody behind. We must work in tandem. We must all work together in collaboration”, Governor Inuwa said.
He called for the cooperation of the citizens for his administration to be able to serve them better, even as he admonished civil servants and politicians to live a life of sacrifice and sincerity.
“When we came in in 2019, we inherited a very sad situation. But today, the remarkable progress we have been able to make is available for all to see”, he said.
The Governor also encouraged the Local Governments to be creative in their respective areas, maintaining that “the state government has given them free hands to operate. But they must produce good results for the people to benefit”.
According to him, “Going forward I want to advise that all the local government should go and sit down with Nulge and NLC..and do a review of how they will survive. The public institution must work, the public schools must work the public hospitals must work.”
He further said that “The retirees must not be allowed to suffer. When public institutions work, you pay less and enjoy more. The public system belongs to everybody. The population is increasing by the day, the future looks bleak”.
“In Gombe State, all local governments are autonomous, but administratively must monitor. We are operating in democracy but if you have local governments who will go and spend all your money how do we explain that? The election is coming I hope you will keep your eyes open and do the needful. You must work hard and sacrifice”, he concluded.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau, who shared his experience as a retired Customs Officer, praised Governor Yahaya’s sincerity of purpose in keeping his promises to the senior citizens who have served in the state.
He said that in the last three and a half years, it has been good news for retirees in the state.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ibrahim Dasuki Jalo maintained that all the local government councils in Gombe state now have positive balances in their accounts which makes it possible for them to pay salaries, pensions, gratuities and other entitlements when due as against the ugly trend before the coming of the present administration.
He revealed that before the inception of the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, local government councils had to take bank loans to pay workers’ salaries.
The Chairman of the Pensions and Gratuity Disbursement Committee, Muhammad Buba Gombe extolled the virtues of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, saying “that apart from being methodical in his administrative style, the Governor is also a conscientious administrator who means well for his people and employs a good follow up mechanism to ensure that everyone gets what is due to him or her.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Yakubu Kala Hinna explained that the retirees are full of appreciation for Governor Inuwa’s faithfulness in payment of their benefits as he promised them, assuring of their unflinching support and that of their families towards his second term bid.
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