New Telegraph

A’Ibom: Gratuities Paid On Merit Not Favoritism – Eno’s Aide

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Dr Essien Ndueso has said that workers of all categories in Akwa Ibom State, who have carefully carried out required documentation are not required to undergo any further procedure before receiving their retirement benefits.

This according to him is because gratuities are paid to retired workers and civil servants in the State on the basis of, ‘first come first serve’ and not favouritism.

Dr Ndueso who disclosed this on Thursday during an interview with Correspondents in Uyo recalled that the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno in keeping with his campaign promise, recently released another 2.7 billion naira for payment of gratuities to retired workers and leave grants for primary school teachers.

“The recent release means that Governor Eno in nine months has paid a total of 14.7 billion naira for retired workers in the state”. He added.
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Dr. Ndueso, who described the disbursement at a time of harsh economic realities, as a welcome development, added that the Governor’s action is another justification that government is a continuum.

He said the Governor was naturally inclined to cater for workers and needed no prompting, hence his decision to always set aside money every month for arrears.

On the rumours that the previous administration was not faithful to the payment of gratuities, Dr Ndueso described those assertions as false, maintaining that the previous administration which paid pensions till date, also made remarkable efforts in clearing backlogs of gratuities.

“When Mr Udom Emmanuel assumed office in 2015, one of his first actions was the clearing of 10 years arrears of gratuity between 2001 and 2011 for local government workers and primary school teachers,” adding that Governor Eno is fulfilling his pledge to continue from where his predecessor stopped.

Reiterating that the recent releases of funds for payment of gratuities by Governor Eno are another evidence that government is a continuum, Essien said God has been faithful in blessing Akwa Ibom state with a people-centric leadership.

The communication expert while also taking time to dismiss the allegations of selective payment of gratuities, admonished all retired workers to remain calm as the disbursement of funds released for gratuities is done in sequence.

Dr. Ndueso however said, the government under the leadership of Governor Eno, is always open to feedback on the disbursement processes by the relevant departments.

“No one needs to go and lobby to be considered because the process of payments is clear and systematic.

“The payments for retired local government workers are handled by the Local Government Pensions Board while the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, and a special committee comprising stakeholders like retired teachers, and government officials is saddled with payments for retired teachers,” the Governor’s aide said.

He maintained that since there is transparency in the process, those who retired later cannot expect to be paid before their older colleagues.

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