17 states still owe pensions, salaries despite N1.8trn bailout -BudgIT

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BudgIT, a civic organization has disclosed that 17 states owe pensions, salaries despite the federal government N1.8 trillion bailout meant for payment of workers’ salaries and arrears.

It would be recalled that the federal government had approved N1.8 trillion as final payment to states for the Paris Club Refund.

BudgIT in a statement signed by its Communications Lead, Ayomide Faleye, said the civic organization is  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.

According to him, the survey aimed at ascertaining the frequency and magnitude of challenges civil servants and pensioners are encountering.

He stated that “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 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.” The report by BudgIT noted that among states with outstanding liabilities to secondary school teachers are Osun and Kogi states.

“Osun State has been paying secondary school teachers above level 8 only a fraction of their salaries and entitlement for the last 30 months.

“Cumulatively, Osun state is owing secondary school teachers above level 8 about 15 months salary.  Other states with outstanding liabilities to states 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 includes attending to issues around pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health and newborn care – are also bogged down by issues including failure of some states to pay  salaries and emoluments 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.

“Delta, Imo, Abia, Osun, Plateau, Bayelsa, Ekiti and 11 other states owe Pensioners entitlement ranging from one month to 36 months. Almost all pensioners expressed how unhappy they are, their dissatisfaction with the government and how hard it has been for them to survive despite years of hard work up into service,” the report by BudgIT explained.

The civic organization asked States to offset outstanding liabilities to its workers and pensioners as funds in form of bailout estimated to be in the region of N1.8 trillion have been issued to states to offset all outstanding liabilities owed workers.

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