Probe Borno bailout, PDP chief tells Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to investigate the use of bailout funds by the Borno State Government.

Reacting to a protest by pensioners over the non-payment of their pensions by the Borno State Government, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Borno State, Alhaji Muhammad Imam, in a statement on Monday said, “My attention has been drawn to the non-payment of pensions and gratuity of some retired civil servants in Borno State since 2016, which led to a demonstration by hundreds of retirees demanding the immediate payment of their entitlements some days ago in Maiduguri.

I wish to express serious concerns over this distasteful development, especially the untold hardships caused to these retirees who have made a lot of sacrifices in serving the state.

“It is unfortunate that some of the retirees were said to have died without receiving their benefits. This pathetic situation is unacceptable, especially given the fact that the Borno State Government had received the Paris Club funds twice from the Federal Government amounting to millions of dollars, which was meant for the payment of salary arrears, leave grants, pension and gratuity.”

He lamented that while the Borno State governor was quoted as saying that about N500m was saved through the application of biometrics, his government had not found necessary to pay the retirees.

Imam said, “I urge the Borno State Government to, as a matter of urgency, pay the pension and gratuity of these retirees without resorting to delay tactics of establishing a committee or to flimsy excuse of conducting biometric exercise which had been poorly handled by those who neither had the expertise nor the ability to efficiently handle it.”

He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene “in this serious matter and investigate the whereabouts of the Paris Club funds released to the Borno State Government for the purpose of paying the retirees.”
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