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States Owe 30 Months’ Pensions, Salaries Despite N1.8trn Bailout

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BudgIT, a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change has expressed concern over the non-payment of salaries and pensions by 12 states despite the bailout fund given by the federal government. It called on states to offset outstanding liabilities to its workers and pensioners as funds in form of bailout estimated to be in the region of N1.8 trillion had been issued to states to offset all outstanding liabilities owed workers. The organisation said a survey it conducted recently showed that 12 states were yet to offset the amount owed secondary school teachers fully and many states were threatening workers to keep the information away from public domain. “We are worried that some states are yet to fully offset the outstanding amount owed pensioners and civil servants despite series of bailouts aimed at offsetting the liabilities, recently conducted a survey,” it said in a release issued yesterday.

The survey it said, was aimed at ascertaining the frequency and magnitude of challenges civil servants and pensioners were encountering, focusing on three different categories of workers in all 36 states namely: primary and secondary school teachers, state midwives and state secretariat workers. Also, attention was paid to ascertain if retirees at the state level were receiving pensions as at when due. Notable among states with outstanding liabilities to secondary teachers is Osun and Kogi . BudgIT said Osun State has been paying secondary school teachers above level eight only a fraction of their salaries and entitlement for the last 30 months. Cumulatively, Osun State is owing secondary school teachers above level 8 about 15 months salary. Other states with outstanding liabilities include Abia, Benue, Bayelsa, Kwara, Imo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Zamfara. Kogi State, for instance, is owing teachers about 13 months’ salaries according to the response given by secondary school teachers during the survey.

Midwives, whose responsibility includes attending to issues around pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health and newborn care – are also bugged down by issues including failure of some states to pay salaries and emolument as at when due. Midwives were questioned during the survey across the 36 states. BudgIT discovered that 10 states were owing midwives salaries as at close of business on September 24, 2018. Delta, Imo, Abia, Osun, Plateau, Bayelsa, Ekiti and 11 other states owe pensioners entitlement ranging from one month to 36 months. Almost all pensioners expressed how unhappy they were, their dissatisfaction with the government and how hard it has been for them to survive despite years of hard work up into service.



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