Niger Assembly summons pensions bosses over non-payment of pensions, gratuities


By Aluta News

Jan. 17, 2023

Niger State House of Assembly on Tuesday summoned the Directors-General of the state and the Local Government Pension Boards to the non-payment of pension and gratuities of retirees.

The summons followed a motion moved by Mr Mohammed Haruna (APC-Bida II) asking the house to urgently set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the non-payment of the pensions and gratuities.

Speaker of the House, Mr Abdullahi Bawa, said the duo should appear before the members of the ad-hoc committee on Jan. 19.

Earlier, Haruna said the unpaid gratuities since 2015 had resulted into continuous protests by retirees over the failure by the present administration to pay the entitlements spanning more than five years.

He noted that the affected retirees had been protesting in the past six months and that they blocked the entrance to Government House on Dec. 13, 2022.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that the retirees after serving the state in their agile years had been reduced to beggars as they had no other source of income.

He expressed worries that the only 178 retirees were paid from the N1 billion the state government approved for the boards in November 2022, leaving 14,200 pensioners yet to be paid.

He noted that the state government needed about N14 billion to offset outstanding pensions and gratuities.

Haruna added that it was saddening that a lot of the pensioners had passed on without enjoying the benefits of their service of 35 years to the state.

HE stressed that the situation needed urgent intervention of the legislature before more of the retirees die without enjoying their benefits.

In his contribution, Mr Malik Madaki (APC-Bosso) said the continuous protests and the saying of prayers by retirees at the entrance of the Government House was a bad omen that should not be overlooked.

He noted that since the inception of the present administration in 2015, it had employed only about 1,000 staff while more than 6,000 civil servants had retired from the service between 2015 and 2022.

The lawmaker added that monthly pensions had continued to rise from N150 million to more than N500 million.

Madaki noted also that many people had retired from service but the state’s wage bill had not reduced.

He charged that it was time for the legislature and the executive arms of government to rise to their responsibilities.