Despite N1.8tr bailout, 17 states owe pensions, salaries

Seventeen states are owing pensioners entitlements ranging from one month to 36 months, a survey by BudgIT Foundation has shown.

The states include Delta, Imo, Abia, Osun, Plateau, Bayelsa, and Ekiti.

This is despite the Federal Government’s bailout of N1.8 trillion released to states to clear their outstanding liabilities.

BudgIT in a statement signed by Ayomide Faleye further disclosed that 12 states were yet to fully offset the amount owed secondary school teachers, while midwives were also being owed.

Many of the states, the survey reported, warned the workers to keep the information from the public.

According to BudgIT, almost all pensioners expressed their dissatisfaction with their state governments.

The pensioners also expressed how hard it had been for them to survive despite their years of service.

BudgIT has, however, asked the affected states to offset the debts.

The group said: “BudgIT, 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. The survey aimed at ascertaining the frequency and magnitude of challenges civil servants and pensioners encounter. The survey focused 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 are receiving pensions as at when due.

“From the survey carried out, we discovered that 12 states are yet to offset the amount owed secondary school teachers fully and many states are threatening workers to keep the information away from public domain. Notable among states with outstanding liabilities to secondary teachers are Osun and Kogi states. Osun State has been paying secondary school teachers above level 8 only a fraction of their salaries and entitlements for the last 30 months. Cumulatively, Osun State is owing secondary school teachers above level 8 about 15 months salaries. 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 include attending to issues around pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health and newborn care, are also bugged down by issues, such as  failure of some states to pay salaries and emoluments as at when due. Midwives were questioned during the survey across the 36 states. BudgIT discovered that 10 states are owing midwives salaries as at close of business on September 24, 2018.”

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