President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to investigate the administration of the bailout fund to Borno State Government.
Even as a call has gone to Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima to immediately play all the entitlements of pensioners in the state and stop resorting to delay tactics, which has continued to increase the numbers of dead pensioners in the state.
Reacting to a protest by pensioners, over the non-payment of their pensions by the Borno State Government, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Borno State, Alhaji Muhammad Imam, in a signed statement on Monday said this act was unacceptable and in bad light especially as the Borno State had more than once received the Paris Club bail out.
The statement read: “My attention has been drawn to the non-payment of pensions and gratuity of some retired Civil servants in Borno state since 2016, which led to demonstration by hundreds of retirees demanding for the immediate payment of their entitlements, some days ago in Maiduguri. I wish to express serious concerns over this distasteful development, especially the untold hardships caused to these retirees who have made a lot of sacrifices in serving the state.
“It is unfortunate some of the retirees were said to have died without receiving their benefits.”
He added that: “This pathetic situation is unacceptable, especially given the fact that Borno state Government had received the Paris Club funds twice from the Federal Government amounting to millions of Dollars recently, which was meant for the payment of salary arrears, leave grants, pension and gratuity.”
He lamented that while, the Borno state Governor was quoted as saying that about N500 million was saved from the Biometrics Exercise, but his government has not found it necessary to pay the retirees.
Imam said: “I urge the Borno state government to, as a matter of urgency, pay the pension and gratuity of these retirees without resorting to delay tactics of establishing a Committee or to flimsy excuse of conducting biometric exercise which had been poorly handled by those who neither have the expertise nor the ability to efficiently handle it.”
He said that this explain why it has taken too long to complete the exercise and make the report public and has added to the endless sufferings of many workers in the state.
He however appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene “in this serious matter and investigate the whereabouts of the Paris Club funds released to the Borno state government for the purpose of paying the retirees.”
He expressed his sympathy to the retirees and their families over the unnecessary sufferings they are made to face by the non-payment of their entitlements “despite their contributions to the development of Borno state.”