By David Odama, Lafia
Nasarawa State Government on Wednesday commenced the disbursement of over N300m as part payment of gratuities to over 600 retired civil servants in the state.
Director-General, Nasarawa State Pensions Bureau, Abdullahi Oseze disclosed this while presenting cheques to the benefitting retirees to mark the commencement of the distribution in Lafia. According to Oseze, the state government had undertaken a census of all retirees in the state and their entitlements since the creation of the state to enable it to pay off their gratuities in phases including those who retired more than ten years ago.
“We are hopeful that as we have started paying gratuities to retirees in the state, we won’t stop until we are able to pay everyone. I appeal to all pensioners in the state to maintain calmness as government is concerned about their welfare”,
He called on retirees who were not shortlisted for the first phase of payment to be patient with the state government and wait for their turn within the availability of funds. Nasarawa State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Alhaji Musa Obakpa commended the state government for paying attention to the welfare of retirees in the state. On his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Emmanuel Alidzi assured that government will continue to pay pensioners in the state when the resources are available.
“Government is doing everything possible to ensure that pensioners in the state are comfortable. We are beginning with the Keffi zone followed by Akwanga zone while the Lafia zone will all receive their cheques on Friday this week”, he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Florence Asanza whose husband died in active service 16 years ago said the payment of her late husband’s entitlements came to her as a surprise as she had given up hope after a long wait. Also speaking, one of the beneficiaries, Abdullahi Baba Amore from Toto Local Government Area expressed gratitude to Governor for coming to the aid of Pensioners in the state.
“I am very happy today and I thank Governor Abdullahi Sule for coming to the aide of Pensioners across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state because before now, life has not really been easy but I thank God that I am smiling today and I believe other pensioners are happy too”, he said.