Kwara State Pension Board Executive Secretary Aliyu Boni Shuaibu has said Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has brought joy to senior citizens in the state following his timely payments of their entitlements since he assumed office in May last year.
“Pensioners in the state are praying for you because you have brought great joy to them and their families. Your timely release of their money has led to up to date payment of state pension. We have also started clearing gratuities from March, 2014 where the former government stopped. This is a great thing and we are very grateful to you,” Shuaibu said Tuesday evening when AbdulRazaq paid an impromptu visit to the board in Ilorin, the state capital.
The pension board chief said the state currently owes at least N11bn in gratuities from the previous years.
He said the board was getting N150m monthly which abruptly stopped long ago until the Governor came in last May to restore the gratuities by paying ₦100M monthly which has been regular.
He also commended AbdulRazaq for approving training and retraining of staff of officials of the Board through the office of Head of Service.
He however urged the Governor to consider enrolling Kwara State in the contributory pension scheme (CPS) to lessen the burden of debt.
In what has become a pattern of incognito visits to public facilities to be on top of issues, AbdulRazaq also visited the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to inspect the facility and exchange ideas on its status with the leadership of the union.
The Governor, who arrived the facility unannounced in company of just his media aide and Aide-de-camp, said the government will rehabilitate the shaky building once he gets an expert report on its status.
He was taken round the facility by the NUJ chairman Umar Abdulwahab, following which he later took pictures with some citizens who saw him driving into the NUJ Centre.
The NUJ leadership called the visit a first by any Governor since 1999, commending him for his simplicity and efforts to rebuild the state.
AbdulRazaq also visited the Herald newspaper building, where he interacted with its workers and leadership.
He said steps would be taken to ensure the viability of the medium, including strengthening its online presence in line with global trend.