Plateau State Owes Retired Workers N12bn Gratuity – NLC

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Simon Lalong

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The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Plateau chapter, Jibrin Banchir, on Sunday said Plateau Government owed N12 billion as retired workers’ gratuities.

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Mr. Banchir told journalists in Jos that the amount covered 15 years of arrears.

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He, however, commended Governor Simon Lalong for clearing the backlog of workers’ salaries.

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The labour leader appealed to the governor to also pay gratuities of retirees, who had served the state since their youthful days.

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“We recently met with the governor and we told him that Plateau Government is owing over N12 billion gratuity for a period of 15 years.

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“We, therefore, appealed to the state government to explore all possible ways to pay it.

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“We are monitoring the Paris Club refund, this is the first tranche, the second, third and fourth tranche will come.

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“The Federal Government clearly said that 50 per cent of the Paris Club refund must be used in servicing workers benefits; salaries, pensions and gratuities.

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“We are done with the payment of salaries and pensions, and if we get another tranche, we should use it to pay the gratuities,” Mr. Banchir said.

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On leave and transport grants owed workers before consolidation in 2013, the labour leader said that the union was negotiating with the state government through the office of Head of Service.

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He expressed optimism that the negotiating team would address the issue for the benefits of workers.

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The chairman said that although workers and pensioners were still awaiting payment of other entitlements, they are happy salaries and pension arrears have been paid.

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“If we look back at the turbulent times we have had, we have no reason not to appreciate the government.

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“It is the first time, in more than 15 years, that we have receive December salary in December and we must commend the governor for that,’’ he said.

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He recalled that government workers were owed seven month salaries arrears; local government owed three months; state pensioners, nine months and local government pensioners, seven months.

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He also appreciated the governor for promoting workers for the first time in nine years.

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According to him, some workers even got double promotions because of the governor’s gesture.

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“On behalf of the Plateau workers, we appreciate the governor in a very special way and we will reciprocate by putting in our very best in discharging our duties,” he said.

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