Adamawa State pensioners have scored governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s administration low in payment of gratuities despite the payment of a fresh tranche of N1.3bn.
Making the disclosure, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Adamawa State branch Ahmad Buba said pensioners are in a state of penury and neglect.
He noted that out of the N27bn the state government owed the pensioners, it only offset N2.8bn noting that such amount is too small to address the hard times Adamawa pensioners are going through.
Ahmed noted that a significant part of the N2.8bn backlog of gratuities were used in paying off retired permanent secretaries while a substantial number of pensioners were left in the lurch.
Responding to the stance of the government that it has paid N5bn gratuities since its inception, Buba said such cannot be true because going by their calculation only N2.8bn was paid, N1.5bn last year and N1.3bn this year.
“Fintiri has tried in paying N2.8bn out of N27bn backlog. But we must say his efforts did not make the desired impact in addressing the challenge of pensioners considering that the N2.8bn paid was just like a scratch on the back.
“We want him to emulate his next door colleague, that is the governor of Borno State who recently paid backlog of gratuities to the tune of N21bn. Are Adamawa and Borno states not collecting funds from the same purse?”
“In the build up to the 2019 general election, Fintiri came to us three times with a promise that if he is elected, he will not appoint commissioners for six months so as to get enough funds to upset our backlog of entitlements but since he came on board he only paid a paltry N2.8bn and this is the tail end of his administration,” he said.
He noted that currently the state government is owing over 15,000 pensioners who retired as far back as 2013 as in the case of state pensioners and 2011 as in the case of local government pensioners.
“It is unfortunate that some of our senior citizens who made life sacrifices towards a greater Adamawa state are dying of hunger and neglect because the government they worked for has ditched them.
“The government should know we are not beggars but decent people who are asking for their legitimate rights. Fintiri should copy from his next door colleague, governor Zulum who last month approved N21bn for payment of pensioners in the state,” Buba said.
Before Press time, calls to the Director General of Governor Umar Fintiri on Media and communication, Mr Solomon Kumangar are not been picked.
Our correspondent sent SMS and Whatsapp messages to his line still Solomon could not replied as at press time.