Gratuties:When Zullum wipes retirees tears with N12bn
*One Nigerian governor’s unmatched kindness
There is virtually no state in Nigeria where there are no pending cases of tussle between workers and governments over either cases of footdragging or lack of payment of either pension or gratuity or both to retired and serving civil servants.
In fact, workers are being owed in billions of what is due to them by law and to this day many states have been found to be derelict in matters to do with settling workers entitlements to allow them live dignified post-retirement life.
In Borno state however, the Governor there, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has scored another first out many documented firsts in his close to two years in office. This is one singular achievement that has not been recorded by governors that have been in office for over eight years.
The billions owed thousands of government workers in accumulated gratuity is currently being paid to them in Borno state. A total of N12 billion was secured by the Governor to pay close to 5000 workers and payment has since commenced.
On pension, there is no worker in Borno state that retires without being automatically captured and being paid his due. Those being owed before the assumption of office of Professor Zulum have gone through a verification exercise and thousands have already benefitted from the magnanimity of a caring governor.
Unlike other states who probably have the luxury of peaceful atmosphere and some form of liquidity, workers and other classes of citizens in Borno have suffered untold haradhip as a result of the over a decade-old insurgency that has accentuated severe economic challenges and an unprecedented cash squeeze which made it imperative for any people-oriented government to prioritize prompt payment of workers entitlements to ease hardship.
The emergence of the Professor, his policy of putting his people first coupled with running a government on the principles of transparency and accountability were factors that have worked on the side of the people of Borno state.
This attitude has proved that even in those states still owing billions to workers, the Borno policy is also applicable and doable if the will and the fear of God is there in leaders.
There is a way such magnanimity lubricates state economies, take away deep-rooted poverty and bring smiles on faces of the citizenry.