Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state on Friday said that his administration inherited the sum of ₦27bn naira in pension arrears from his predecessors.Mohammed, who disclosed this in Bauchi when the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), paid him a courtesy visit to mark the 2020 Christmas celebration, explained that despite all the challenges, pensioners were now getting their entitlements ‘as and when due’.
“Unless we are able to free resources, we won’t be able to employ people. We have a prevalence of ghost workers and we are working very hard to make sure we free resources in our personnel emolument within the nominal rolls that have been bastardized.
“Even though we got Paris club funds, we got bailout money, we were not able to settle all that.“However, pensioners are getting their money as and when due and in fact, even their retirement benefits, we inherited ₦27bn retirement arrears from the previous administrations,” he said.
Mohammed further revealed that his administration had realised the sum of ₦500 million naira as a result of the ongoing blocking of leakages and sanitisation of government payrolls of ghost workers in the state.
He also revealed that no more than 2000 youth had been slated for selection with ‘equity and Justice’ to be trained in agriculture.
“Right now we are doing a programme where we are selecting about 2000 youths to go for agricultural training and they are selected across the 20 local governments with equity and Justice.
“The second batch has finished a course in Abuja and they will be going in succession. We intend to spend a lot of money and to make them look inward to explore their potentials,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Rev. Joshua Maina, Chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bauchi state chapter, appreciated the state governor for his efforts in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“People said he set the pace and others have been following. Our ability to record low mortality is borne out of nothing but sheer sincerity and commitment in handling this pandemic.
“I want to assure you that the work you have done, you have not done it for humanity, you have done it for God and he is going to reward you in due course,” he said.