MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Retired civil servants from 2016 to April 2020 in Borno State Civil Service numbering 552 have been enrolled for pension payments following the directive of Governor Babagana Zulum.
Borno State Head of Civil Service, Barrister Simon Malgwi, stated this at a press briefing in Maiduguri on Saturday.
He said Governor Zulum, having been considerably disturbed by pension problems in the state, had to personally intervene in order to address the situation and ensure a hitch-free pension administration in the state.
He explained that the 552 pensioners enrolled are inclusive of the 387 complaints received from the Nigerian Union Of Pensioners on Thursday, March 12, 2020, during a public hearing which the Governor also attended.
The Head of Service added that presently about 90 per cent of pensioners have so far been cleared and paid their one month pension and the payment will continue after the process of their enrollment into the scheme is fully completed.
He also said the remaining 10 per cent were largely not captured either due to non-reporting for the exercise or for being deferred for further investigation and necessary or appropriate action.
This, he said, is as far as the 387 pension complaints received from the Nigerian Union of Pensioners.
Malgwi attributed the lingering pension crisis to a number of administrative factors and some unavoidable challenges on the part of the pensioners; which includes: failure to provide correct details, particularly in respect to bank account numbers and BVN, cases of fraud and unsavoury activities, deliberate overstay in service beyond the mandatory years of service or retirement age, collecting both salaries and pensions at the same time, impersonation, improper replacement and overpayments, cases of the next-of-kin not reporting death of pensioners to government until ATM expires and become stranded among others.
He further assured of government’s commitment to offset all pension and salary arrears that are verified to be genuine, stating that there is no cause for alarm as no genuine pensioner who has worked for the state in any capacity and entitled to pension will be denied his or her legitimate retirement benefits.
However, Malgwi called on civil servants to always process their retirements in good time to avoid unnecessary delays as government has put in place a system of automatic migration, from salary to pension whereby, all fresh retirees would have their pension in the month immediately after retirement.
Malgwi on behalf of the Borno State Government appreciated the cooperation of the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Nigerian Union of Pensioners and the pensioners, who have ensured the smooth and successful conduct of the exercise.