New Telegraph

Subsidy: Zulum Allocates 30 Buses To Ease Worker Transportation, Give NLC N2bn For Loan

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State has approved the allocation of 30 buses to ease transportation and, presented a cheque of two billion naira (N2b) to the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Borno State for disbursement of interest-free loans to eligible workers with repayment period of 24 months all cushion the effects of hardship as a result of fuel subsidy removal.

Announcing the allocation of the buses and the presentation of the N billion loan scheme at a meeting between NLC and the Governor at the Government House, Maiduguri yesterday, Governor Babagana Zulum said the 30 buses are to be dedicated to conveying workers in the metropolis at subsidized fares.

Zulum said the buses are to be managed by the Borno Express Transport Corporation but to be deployed at pick-up points along major routes to move workers to the Musa Usman secretariat in the morning and return them by evening from the secretariat to where they were picked in the morning.

Also, presenting the cheque of N2 billion to the NLC chairman Borno State Comrade Yusuf Inuwa, Zulum said the N2 billion interest-free loan is to be given to workers in Borno state and is Osyableveithin 24 months.

The NLC chairman led his members to a meeting that took place at the council chambers of the Government House in Maiduguri., where Governor Zulum asked the NLC to complete talks with the state’s ministry of finance to determine the category of workers to be entitled to the loans as well the loan recovery through monthly deductions of not more than one-third of salaries

The Governor also announced a 100% increase in monthly releases for payment of gratuities’ backlog. The payment was increased from N100 million monthly which equals N1.2 billion annually to N200 million monthly which will amount to N2.4 billion.

The gratuities are lump sums paid to workers who retired from service, even as they become entitled to monthly pensions.

For many years, retired workers in Borno State have been owed gratuities for which Governor Zulum has released about N20 billion to drastically reduce the backlog even though more workers retire every year, making more of them owed gratuities.

Although many are owed gratuities, Governor Zulum has since introduced a policy of automatic migration of retired workers from salaries to pensions. Before the policy, it took retired workers months to complete documentation before getting a monthly pension while they waited for gratuities which took longer waiting time.

Aldo during the meeting, Governor Zulum directed the state’s ministry of finance to clear backlogs of promotional benefits owed workers whose names were omitted during earlier payments.

The workers were those still being owed 2016, 2017, and 2018 promotional benefits after their names were omitted during payments approved by Governor Zulum in 2019.

Zulum directed that workers owed 2019 and 2020 promotional benefits should all be paid while those owed from 2021 to date are to be paid based on the outcome of a recent promotional exam in which they participated.

Earlier, the Borno state chairman of the NLC, Comrade Yusuf Inuwa said the NLC demanded loans for workers who may want to do agricultural and other businesses or acquire some assets.

Comrade Inuwa also said the NLC demanded the allocation of buses and the clearing of promotional benefits. Inuwa also said the labour demanded an increase in the monthly allocation for payment of mentions.

While appreciating Governor Zulum for meeting the top of their demands, the NLC chairman hopes that the labour will continue engaging the Government for more demands to be addressed for the welfare of workers at the state and local government levels.

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