Some Borno Retirees Lament Take 4000 Naira As Monthly Gratuity – TUC, NLC
By Abdulkareem Haruna
Retirees in Borno State have expressed their dissatisfaction with the meager sum of 4000 naira they receive as monthly gratuity from the state government.
This was made known by the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Borno State, Comrade Babayo Hamman, during the May 1st Workers’ Day celebration in 2023.
The TUC Chairman further expressed concern over the increasing number of retirees without commensurate intake of new workers, which he said will create a wide vacuum in the state civil service in the next two years.
According to Hamman, the state government has not been recruiting new workers to match the increasing number of retirees, which has further compounded the situation.
He emphasized the urgent need “to increase the retirement age to either 40 or 65 years of age limit, depending on the case, in order to address the issue of a looming vacuum in the state civil service.”
This was reechoed by state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Yusuf Inuwa.
The NLC chairman, in his speech, gave a catalog of demands to the state government on behalf of the workers in the state.
Civil servants are making demands that include the implementation of promotion benefits, the payment of gratuity to beneficiaries from 2012-2017, and the payment of pensions to retired local government staff who have not received any payments since April 2022. There is a committee in charge of these payments, but it has not been functioning effectively, leading to the current situation faced by the pensioners. Additionally, labour is requesting the absorption of staff from Borno State Housing Corporation and Borno Express into the civil service of Borno State.
The labour union is requesting the government to revisit the issue of civil servants and pensioners affected by the Bio-data capturing committee, which has caused many to feel alienated. The union is also requesting the governor to ask the members of the Borno State House of Assembly to pass a bill that would extend the years of service for health workers from 35 to 40 years and from 60 to 65 years, as was done for teachers in the state. Additionally, the union is asking the governor to consider extending the years of service for all categories of civil servants in the state from 35 to 40 years of service and from 60 to 65 years by birth to help retain trained civil servants who are retiring in large numbers.
The labour union is requesting the government to approve the remaining 10% of professional allowances for medical and health workers, nurses, and midwives in the state civil service. Additionally, they are asking for the same request of 60% and 30% for health workers in the local government councils and animal and health workers in the state civil service.
The workers and citizens of the state are experiencing difficulties in paying their electricity bills because of the ongoing metering exercise, which is resulting in high consumption of units and increased costs per household.
Many of the retirees, who attended the event, lamented the hardship they face due to the inadequate gratuity and the high cost of living. They called on the state government to increase their monthly gratuity to enable them to cater for their needs.
The retirees also expressed their support for the TUC Chairman’s call for an increase in the retirement age and the recruitment of new workers. They emphasized that this will not only improve their welfare but also ensure the continuity and sustainability of the state civil service.
The state deputy governor, Usman Umar Kadafur, has in his speech as special guest of honor assured the workers that government would not relent im it’s efforts to better the working conditions of civil servants in the state.
“All we want is your support and sincere dedication to work as we shall not relent to improve your welfare.
He urged the civil servants to key into the 25 years development plans and ten years strategic action plans of trh state government.
He said all demands made by the workers will be looked into by the state government with a view to providing a lasting solution to them.