Diri rewards 30 retired permanent secretaries

Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Friday announced a cash reward of N1 million each to the 30 retired permanent secretaries in appreciation of their meritorious service to the state.

Diri made the announcement at a send-forth organised by the Bayelsa Permanent Secretaries Forum in Yenagoa.

He appealed to the former top civil servants to make themselves available whenever they were called upon.

According to him, the ultimate goal of every civil servant is to receive his or her gratuity and pension on retirement, adding that his administration will not deny the retirees such benefits.

Diri said that plans were underway to collaborate with pension managers to ensure that retirees receive their benefits when due, irrespective of the government in power.

“One of the focal points of the civil servants is that when they retire, they expect their pension on monthly basis.

“We have promised not to treat our senior citizens with levity and would like to keep that promise as long as we remain in the saddle of governance in Bayelsa.

“Today, we are celebrating you for the meritorious service you rendered to your dear state.

“I join in thanking and calling you to continue in the fashion that you have done while in service, and to render services now as senior citizens of our dear state in terms of advice from the experience you have garnered over the years.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Retired Permanent Secretaries, Chief Benefit Amakiri, commended the governor for ensuring prompt payment of their gratuities and monthly pension.

According to him, retirees in the state are not feeling the hardship that comes with retirement, due to the prompt payment of their benefits.

He expressed the forum’s support for the Diri-led administration, urging him not to relent in his developmental initiatives.

Amakiri said: “You have done very well. We have colleagues and have been to neighbouring states but there is nothing to compare to this.

“At the end of every month, there is no difference between the retirees and those still in service.

“The gratuity we receive each month; you have placed a mandate that it is first to the retirees to get paid and this is being followed religiously.’’

In their goodwill messages, the Chief Whip and Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Establishments, Mrs Ebiowo Koku-Obiyai, and Chairman, Bayelsa Civil Service Commission, Mr Peter Singabele, thanked the governor for not neglecting the retired workers.

They prayed for more resources to enable him to do more for them.

Also speaking, the Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Charles-Onyema, congratulated the retirees for successfully serving the state.

Charles-Onyema described their services as invaluable to the growth of the civil service, due to the experience they had garnered while in service. (NAN)