Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Monday inaugurated a committee that will verify retired workers across the 27 local government areas in Borno in preparation for payment of pensions and gratuities government is owing retirees.
Inauguration of the 14-member committee held at the government house in Maiduguri. They are led by a seasoned technocrat, Ibrahim Lawalam.
Zulum announced at the event that Government will clear all backlogs of gratuities for workers who retired from 2012 to date.
The governor in his address, lamented decline in productivity of the workforce.
The local government system has over the years been ineffective in discharging its statutory obligation, Zulum noted.
The Governor assured of his administration’s commitment to reverse the unhealthy development by making the local government system work again. He recalled far reaching measures put in place, which include ; setting up of two high-powered verification and Biometric data-capture committees; one on Local Government Staff and the other on Primary School Teachers.
On the committee he was inaugurating, Zulum explained that procedural and administrative challenges in the payment of Local Government Pensioners nessitated a 14-member group to proffer solutions.
The committee’s purpose, he said, is to determine the number of genuine local government Pensioners and the precise co-relation between the total number of pensioners and cumulative amount of pension and gratuities owed them.
After ascertaining numbers and figures, the Committee is to effect payment of gratuities of cleared pensioners cleared without further but through a phase by phase model.
The governor read out specific six terms of reference to the hearing of the committee, as listed below:
1.To determine and verify the actual number of genuine pensioners in each local government area and the specific amount of money each pensioner is entitled to;
- To identify the various challenges associated with the local government pension payment system and how such challenges could be adequately addressed;
- To examine the current method of payment of local government pensioners and determine its vulnerability to abuse or effectiveness in meeting extant procedural and administrative requirements;
- To identify the generic problems currently being encountered by local government pensioners in the payment system and how to resolve and forestall these problems;
- To pay gratuities of pensioners that were hitherto entitled and cleared for payment on sustainable basis without further delay, while the verification exercise is on-going.
- Any other matter the Committee deems relevant to the above Terms of Reference”.