No fewer than 97 next of kin of retired primary school teachers in Akwa Ibom State have received their late parents benefits.
This is in addition to about 67 retired primary school teachers and 11 physically challenged persons who were finally paid their gratuity by the state government. These are part of the first beneficiaries of payment of gratuity to beneficiaries, a payment that spans a period of 24 years, from 1976-2000.
The payment of the retirees entitlements is in furtherance to the pledge by Governor Udom Emmanuel to commence payment of gratuity and pensions to all eligible retirees in line with the commitment of his administration to bring succour and relief to senior citizens of the state who sacrificed a greater part of their productive years in service of the state.
Speaking to newsmen in Uyo, the Head of the Civil Service, Akwa Ibom State, Elder Effiong Essien said the state government further approved the payment of entitlements to 5,296 retired primary school teachers, 1,838 next of kin in the state from 1976 to 2000 which will be paid on batches.
According to Elder Essien, “The payment of this entitlements commenced on Monday, we are hoping to clear the backlogs of the gratuities from 1976 to date. Those who successfully scaled through the verification exercise have received their payment
“Currently, we have paid 97 next of kin, 67 living retired primary school teachers and 11 vulnerable whose both physical and health condition was very pitiable. This payment will be done in batches till we successfully carry out the payment to all beneficiaries”.
Reacting to the development, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Mandu Akpan who retired since 2009 said, the payment of her gratuity will not only go a long way to ameliorate the suffering she has passed through since her retirement from service but will also inspire those presently working that their services to the state will not be in vain.