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Imo Government to set aside N100m monthly for payment of gratuities

The Imo State Government said it would set aside N100 million and N50 million monthly for the payment of gratuities to state government pensioners and local government council pensioners respectively.

It in a communiqué released on Monday in Owerri, the government announced that the payment is in addition to the release of all statutory deductions due to the Local Government Pension Board and Local Government Service Commission.

The communiqué was issued by the reconciliation committee the government set up to look into the trade dispute between the government and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC).

According to the communiqué, the government has paid the backlog of pension arrears, while payment of gratuities, for some years, is still outstanding.

The communiqué was signed by the Imo Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Soronnadi Njoku, the Imo Head of Service, Evans Uzokwe, and the Special Assistant on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Peter Ohagwa, on behalf of the Trade Union, the State Chairman of Joint Public Service

Negotiation Council; Okwarra Coleman (JPSNC), the State Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Reginald Anyadike, and the State Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Obinna Aharanwa.

On the issue of commercialisation of ministries department and agencies (MDGs,) the committee explained that labour is not opposed to the policy, but that government is yet to issue guidelines on its operation.

The committee said that it would be unrealistic to expect every ministry, department and agencies to generate funds for its own salaries.
The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, early in the month while delivering an address on the State of Imo, directed the commercialisation of all MDAs in the state.

He said the MDAs should no longer rely on the government coffers for the running of its affairs, as the government had other necessities to cater for financially.

The committee, therefore, agreed that the policy of commercialisation should go on but should not be tied to the payment of workers’
salaries.

It urged the government to promptly provide the guidelines and necessary framework for the implementation of the policy.
The committee also noted that the government did not place any embargo on promotion and agreed that the process of promotion in the state public service should commence immediately.

The state government set up the committee based on contentious issues raised by the organised labour against the government.

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