Borno State Government on Tuesday began payment of N12billion pension arrears of 3,000 retired civil servants.
Governor Babagana Zulum, presenting the cheques to the pensioners at the Government House, Maiduguri, said the amount was part of the arrears inherited from the previous administrations in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and would be fully paid.
He said the payment was facilitated through a bank loan of N12billion and hailed the House of Assembly for the approval.
“At the inception of this administration from May 29, 2019, the backlog of the state gratuities liability was about N19.7 billion.
“Consequently, government had so far paid gratuities to the sum of about N2billion, making the outstanding of the unpaid gratuities to be about N17billion.
“In the same vein, the outstanding gratuities and local government pensioners as at May 29, 2020 stood at about N12.4 billion.
”So far, about N600 million has been released to kick start the payment of local government workers, bringing the backlog to about N5billion,’’ he said.
Zulum said N5billion was also paid in salary arrears and to those unable to be captured under the state government’s biometric verification exercise in the last one year.
”The accumulated and backlog of gratuities over the years have become worrisome, but government is making efforts to settle the backlog of pension and arrears to our retired civil servants.
”This act of paying gratuities to the retirees will reduce their sufferings.
”It will also reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth,’’ he said.
The governor said the gesture was in fulfilment of one of the policies of his administration, which was the provision of ”good governance” to the people.
Abubakar Maina, a retiree, who received a cheque of N12million, thanked the governor for paying his benefit.