From Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki
Sequel to the approval for the payment of gratuity to Ebonyi State civil service retirees, from 1996 to 2021, several retirees from different parts of Ebonyi State have expressed overwhelming gratitude to Gov. Francis Nwifuru over the on-going payment of gratuity to the retirees.
During a visit to the old Government House Exco Chamber where the exercise was taking place, several retired civil servants were seen orderly being attended to by the committee set up for the payment of the gratuity.
In an interview with some of the retirees who expressed joy over the payment, Mrs. Odah Chinwendu Ede, applauded the ingenuity of the governor for the kind gesture displayed to ensure that all retired civil servants in the state receive their gratuity without stress.
She said, “first and foremost, those that are attending to us are very friendly, and they are not harsh on us.
“They attend to you immediately when you come; it moves from one stage to another and it doesn’t take so much time.
“Each stage doesn’t take more than five minutes. They gave us snacks and water, and we were very happy.
“The payment of this gratuity is like raising the dead. All our aged parents have come back to life, we are grateful to Governor Francis Nwifuru,” she said.
Also speaking, another retiree, Mrs. Ugo Mkpuma, expressed gratitude to God who remembered the senior citizens through Gov. Nwifuru, praying God to reward and bless him and his family over the unimaginable payment of gratuity.
On his part, the Secretary of the Committee, Prof. Mathew E. Nwocha, said that the process is on-going and hopes that by next week, they must-have rounded off the almost one-month exercise.
He noted that the system was improving as the retirees are receiving alerts promptly soon as they are cleared from the Central Payroll System, adding that over 80% of the of those cleared had been paid.
Responding, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Mrs. Adeline Idike, stated that the exercise was moving without problems, adding that there were 1,715 verified retirees as of 19th Oct. and paid out N3.22 billion.
“We started on the 26th of Sept and the total number in the lists of verified retirees is 1,715, but as of yesterday 19th Oct, we have verified 1,322 and paid out N3.22 billion.
“We also have a special day set aside for the beneficiaries of the diseased retirees; next of kin or those whose parents made as next of kin. And of course, next of kin to spouses.
“As you can see, we have many of them coming today, and we are working hard to meet up because some of them came from far places and wouldn`t want them to go back unattended to,” she said