By Haruna Aliyu
Kebbi State Pensioners are groaning under unpaid gratuities, lamenting that those who retired in 2016, 2017 and 2018 have not been paid a kobo since the government paid them between 40 and 60 per cent of their total gratuities.
Spokesperson of the aggrieved retirees, Alhaji Babangida Garba Gwandu, also expressed sadness that “those who retired from 2019, 2020 and 2021 are yet to be paid a dime despite their pleas and members of the public who on behalf of the retirees begged Governor Atiku Bagudu to pay the retirees’ benefits.”
According to him: “The retirees have written to Public Complaints Commission and as well engaged the senators from all the senatorial districts including the four emirs of Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru to prevail on the governor to settle the huge debts of gratuities to the retired civil servants in the state but to no avail.”
He noted that pensioners’ condition had deteriorated leading many of them to early graves with many still suffering from one ailment or the other informing that “many of them whose children wanted to go to the university could not send their children, while those who sent theirs left school midway due to their inability to pay school fees and others.”
Besides unpaid gratuities, Gwandu claimed that since 1999 there was no pension review as “there are pensioners who are still being paid N2000 and N4000 as pension despite reviews by successive governments and the current one done by President Muhammadu Buhari is also not added to Kebbi pensioners.
“The governor has made several unfulfilled promises to pay gratuities and review pensions but to no avail. We are still appealing to him to consider the plight of retirees and pay even in tranches.”