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Dwindling revenue, ghost workers, others affect states’ ability to pay salaries, pensions and gratuities

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Investigation reveals that the growing backlog of pensions and gratuities owed to retired civil personnel appears to be overwhelming almost all the 36 states of the federation.

The situation is made worse by the declining revenue from crude oil sales, which in certain cases is even posing a danger to the ability to pay employees’ salaries.

Since the beginning of the year, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not remitted money to the Federation Account because of the enormous expense of the petroleum subsidy, which increased from N443 billion to N4 trillion.

While Ogun State owes almost nine years’ worth of gratuities and pension deductions that total over 21 months, the Abia State Government alone owes its retired workers 20 years’ worth of gratuities and 38 months’ worth of pension.

Large sums of gratuities are also owed by Lagos, Kwara, Ekiti, Adamawa, Plateau, Taraba, Anambra, and Benue.

According to Comrade Eugine Manji, the state’s leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Plateau State Government last paid a gratuity in 2011.

“We last received our wages from the state government in April, and it’s already July,” added Manji. Three months’ worth of unpaid wages result from this.

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The pension payment is being impacted by the same issue. Also in April, a pension was last paid. Regarding tipping, that one dates back to 2011. In the state, gratuities have not been given since 2011.

In addition to the 20 year gratuities and 38 month pensions that the Abia State Government is owing, it has also been 10 months and 30 months without paying teachers at the Abia State University (ABSU) and the State Polytechnic. Other tertiary institutions, like as Abia State College of Education Technical in Arochukwu and Abia State College of Health Technology in Aba, experience the same situation.

In a related development, the Ogun State Government which promised to pay back accrued statutory leave benefits for eight years as well as pension deductions covering more than 21 months, has not fulfilled its promise.

The recent strike that state civil servants recently went on was partially caused by the government’s behavior. The workers had gone on strike and sought quick payment of their unremitted deductions under the auspices of the leadership of organized labor, which includes the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC).

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Additionally, Taraba State retirees have threatened to abstain from voting in the state’s elections the following year unless the government agrees to pay N30 billion toward their pensions and gratuities.
The pensioners only stormed the State House of Assembly and the Government House in Jalingo last Friday to protest what they deemed to be the government’s insensitivity to their predicament.

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