From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government yesterday explained how it spent the Paris Club fund saying it has since June 2015 paid more than N17bn in pensions to retirees, N4.11bn in gratuity and death benefits to 1,654 persons.
The state Commissioner of Finance, Suleiman Abdu Kwara disclosed this at a news briefing in the state.
According to him, workers in the public service have accumulated N6.87bn in the contributory pension scheme since January 2017.
The commissioner further pointed out that the civil servants usually get credit alerts of their salaries around the 25th day of every month, stressing further that the state will continue to honour its commitments to workers and ensure that the best qualified teachers and civil servants remain in service.
“I wish to address and update you today on the payment of Pensions and issues around the Paris Club refunds to our state.
“ Malam Nasir El-Rufai was the first state governor to disclose receipt of some Paris Club refunds. At the signing ceremony of the 2017 Budget in December 2016, the governor announced that the government would be approaching the Kaduna State House of Assembly for a supplementary budget to capture the refunds.”
“A supplementary budget was subsequently passed by the State House of Assembly which authorized the spending. Some sections of the elite have been obsessed by the said refunds and have pushed their own misinterpretations, oblivious of the facts
“The government of Malam Nasir El-Rufai has been fulfilling its obligations to its retirees who receive their pensions promptly, often before current workers are paid their monthly salaries.
“Between June 2015 and October 2017, the Kaduna State government has paid the following monies to those workers who retired under the old defined benefits scheme:
“N4.11bn as gratuity and death benefits to 1654 workers (639 state and 1,015 local government employees);
“N17.26bn as pension payment for state (N11.24bn) and local government (N6.02bn) employees as follows:
“June 2015-December 2015: N3.22bn 2015 (N2.22bn for state retirees and N1bn for local government retirees);
“January 2016 – December 2016: N6.45bn (N4.6bn for state retirees and N1.84bn for local government retirees);
“January 2017 – September 2017: N7.58bn (N4.41bn for state retirees and N3.17bn for local government retirees), “ he said.