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    Unpaid Salaries, Pension: Governors Urge Patience As Over 1,300 Die In States

    The grim reality of non-payment of workers’ salaries in most states of the federation is biting harder.

    At least over 1,300 civil servants and retirees have died in most states of the federation as a result of hunger, sickness and frustration, among others.

    Saturday PUNCH gathered that most of the workers and the retirees died because of their inability to pay for medical treatments amid other challenges.

    A recent report had indicated that no fewer than 27 states had been unable to pay their workers’ salaries.

    Investigation revealed that the largest number of the deaths was recorded in Osun State.

    Governors have expressed sympathy with the workers over their plight. They urged the workers to be patient and sought their understanding over the current economic situation in the country.

    The Kwara State Governor, AbdulFatah Ahmed, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said he was saddened over the plight of the workers.

    Akorede said, “The governor expects that the situation will be rectified in no distant time. The state government is considering taking over the funding of junior secondary education from local government administration so that the burden on the local government will be reduced.”

    The Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, said the situation was unfortunate.

    Abubakar, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Mr. Sabo Mohammed, said, “It is unfortunate. If you look at it nationally due to the dwindling resources at the coffers of both the federal and state governments, civil servants have not been able to fare well.”

    Ortom’s Special Adviser on Media and Information Communication Technology, Tarhav Agezua, said the Benue State governor regretted his inability to pay workers’ salaries as and when due.

    Tarhav said, “The state government is making concerted effort to recover the N107bn looted by past administration to pay the arrears of workers’ salaries.”

    Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, and his neighbouring Ondo State counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, admitted that life had been difficult for workers, while urging them to be patient.

    The Chief Press Secretary to the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, assured the state civil servants that they would be paid their February salaries soon. Also, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, appealed to the workers to bear with the government as the problem would soon be resolved.

    A Consultant to the Osun State Government on Information, Mr. Sunday Akere, said the state government had paid pensions up till March 2016.

    He said it might be true that some pensioners had died, but their deaths were not caused by the few months of pensions owed them.

    Akere said, “When bailout was given last year, payment of pensions was not factored in, but the governor said the pensioners should also benefit from the money.
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