Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah has inaugurated a 9-man Committee on verification and payment of outstanding pensions and gratuity to Local Government staff and Primary school teachers.
Performing the inauguration on Wednesday,August 16,2023 in Government House, Enugu, Governor. Mbah said ,”the decision was in the continuation of our passion to ensure that there is an equitable approach to the way pensions and gratuity matter is being addressed”.
He urged the committee members to ensure integrity of the process in carrying out their duties, noting that the recommendations of the committee will help the Governor in making decisions for his policy.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof.Chidiebere Onyia ,Governor Mbah who saw the need to bring succour to retirees who served the state and contributed in building the state said, ‘ it is a season of governance to ensure there is an equitable way pensions and gratuity matters are addressed.
He informed the committee that a similar committee was recently inaugurated at the state level to clear the outstanding pensions and gratuities owed civil servants since 2006, and the decision was in fulfillment of his campaign promise to the people.
The Governor also told the members that the execution of the committee is critical and what they should be looking at is mirroring at what is being done at the state level. He informed them that the state committee had done extensive work and was expected to submit its report and recommendations to the Governor on Friday.
He noted that the local government one might be a bit complicated, and needed experienced people,and they were chosen based on their track records and integrity. He charged the committee to reflect their integrity and experiences on the assignment given them He explained that the chairman of the committee, Rev. Fr. Nwankwo is reliable and someone held in high esteem.
Governor Mbah charged the Committee to be guided by integrity ,saying, “Your
recommendation will determine what his Excellency does as his policy declaration after your report is submitted.”
“We have confidence that you will provide that level of expertise and credibility to the process. Like I said to the committee at the state level, which the SSG chairs; two things are very important: hope and credibility. These are very important because you are dealing with people who have invested all their lives to build the state. Hope is important here, and the integrity of the process is critical. We are hoping this team will reflect it in its entirety and in everything it does.
“We are confident this team will provide the necessary decisions, support and recommendations for us to be able to act on the next step to this journey that we have started in meeting our pensions and gratuities’ obligations,” the governor said.
He announced that the State committee on pensions verification and gratuity would be rounding up the one for the state and will be submitting their report to His Excellency on Friday. Mbah announced that the Committee for the local government has three weeks to execute it’s job and submit the report.
“You have a duration of three weeks to do yours.Yours is going to be looking at the data we have already; see if they are credible and the processes.That’s
why your selection is critical.Those that are pension leaders, the NULGE leaders, the NUT, you work and provide that aspect of expertise and credibility to the process.
“Integrity is important because you are dealing with people who have invested all their lives to build the state , so, hope is important here and Integrity of the process is critical. His Excellency will build on those two. So,we are hoping that this two will reflect in everything you are doing,” he said.
The Governor gave the terms of reference as follows: ” to verify and determine all outstanding pensions and gratuity due to local government staff and Primary school teachers.
” To verify and determine the total number of Local Government Retirees that are Primary school teachers and local government staff.
” To recommend an appropriate plan/ module for payment of all the verified pensions and gratuity.
“To submit their findings/ Report within three weeks of the inauguration of the Committee.
The Governor expressed the confidence that the committee will provide the necessary decision support recommendation for him to be abel to act on the next step on the journey he has started in meeting pension and gratuity obligations.
Responding on behalf of other members, the chairman of the committee, and Rector, Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Rev. Fr. Nnamdi Nwankwo ,
assured that they will perform their duties deligently.
He said, “this assignment, as critical as they may look, as complicated as they look, we have what it takes ,essential people in different feilds and within the period given, shall come up with possible suggestions on how to alleviate these problems facing members of the state in the areas of the local government.
He commended the Governor and his team for the passion shown to the people , especially those who suffered and contributed their qoutas to the progress of the state and for working towards providing succour to the people.
Fr. Nwankwo pledged that the team would not disappoint the government and the people of the state as they had what it took to deliver on the assignment.
He assured that the team would come up with plausible and outstanding suggestions that would be beneficial to the people, especially those retirees who were in urgent need of the succour the governor would avail them.
He added that the committee would do its best to help the government in extending the gesture to the people, describing the act as a timely relief that would get to those involved.
Members of the Committee are
Rev. Fr. Nnamdi Ambrose Nwankwo, Rector, Enugu State Polytechnic,Iwollo- Chairman,
Prof. Obiamaka Egbo, Special Adviser on Public Finance- Secretary
Theophilus Nweke Odo,State chairman (NUT)- member
Donatus Achi, Rtd. Permanent secretary- member,
Comrade Ike Ekere, State Chairman Nigeria Union of Pensioners,(NUP),_ member
Comrade Kenneth Ugwuueze, State Chairman (NULGE)- member
Other members are Adenike Okabu, Senior Special Assistant on Revenue,
Larry Oguego, Human Rights Activist- member, and Chinedu Ngene, State Audit Department, Office of the State Auditor General.
With the committee set up, Governor Mbah has raised the hope of retired primary school teachers and other local government retirees in the Enugu State Civil service.
The Committee has three week to submit it’s reports.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama