By Danjuma Joseph Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government yesterday commenced the disbursement of over 300 million naira gratuities to over 600 retired civil servants in the state.
The retired civil servants consists of those from the state and local governments, some of who retired even before Nasarawa State was created out of Plateau State 24 years ago.
Director General Nasarawa State Pensions Bureau, Alhaji Abdullahi Oseze, disclosed this during the official flag off of the distribution of cheaques to the benefitting retirees in Lafia.
Oseze said the state government had concluded compilation of names of all retirees in the state and their entitlements since creation of the state with the view to paying their gratuities in phases beginning from those who retired more than ten years ago.
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.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Emmanuel Alidzi said that as resources acrued to the state, government will continue to pay pensioners.
“Government is doing everything possible to ensure that pensioners in the state are comfortable. We are beginning with Keffi zone today, tomorrow will be for Akwanga zone while next tomorrow, on Friday will be Lafia zone. You will all receive your cheques”, he said
On his part, 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.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Helen Bello whose husband died in active service over 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.