The Sokoto State Government said it had commenced the payment of gratuities and pension arrears amounting to N2.64 billion to its retired workers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Sa’idu Umar, announced this after monitoring the payment at the Sub-Treasury Office in Sokoto on Friday.
Umar said no fewer than 1901 (living or deceased) retired workers of the state government would benefit from the gesture.
The commissioner explained that the payment covered 2011 to Aug. 2015.
“The payment comprises arrears of gratuities, consisting of life and death gratuities, as well as arrears of pensions.
“Cheques are being issued to the surviving beneficiaries who would in turn deposit same in their respective bank accounts.
“The cheques of the deceased beneficiaries are being paid directly to their estate administrators and the courts to be administered by their Registrars after verifications”, he added.
Umar said the state government had set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to conduct honest and transparent payments.
He added that the state government had issued a circular to all the banks in the state “to close all unnecessary government accounts.
“All dormant and inactive accounts had been closed and a dedicated central account opened.
“This is to ensure accountability and efficiency, as well as save government’s funds from unnecessary pilferages.
“The state government is also taking steps to block internally-generated revenue leakages’’, Umar added.
He stated that there were lots of cash infractions at the State Board of Internal Revenue.
Umar also stated that activities of the board were being transformed into electronic payment systems to enhance its operations and boost internally generated revenue.