By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ASSOCIATION of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has stepped up its agitation for the restoration of gratuity to public service employees, saying the stoppage of payment of gratuity to public service employees is very unfortunate.
President of ASCSN, Dr Tommy Etim Okon, while addressing members of the National Executive Council, NEC, among others, said “as you are no doubt aware, since the Pension Reform Act 2004 was enacted, the Government has stopped paying gratuity to public service employees while private sector employers are still paying gratuity to their workers on leaving service.
The stoppage of payment of gratuity to public service employees is very unfortunate because even though the Act was silent on payment of gratuity, it did not expressly abolish it and as such gratuity remains an inseparable component of Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Indeed, gratuity is still on item 44 of the Second Schedule on the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Let me assure you that the Association has since presented a memorandum to Council canvassing for the restoration of payment of gratuity to public service employees and recently it also sent a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him, as a highly respected elder statesman and father to all Nigerians, to direct the resumption of payment of gratuity to Public Service employees.
“This is all the more important because political office holders who serve the country for one to eight years are paid humongous sums of money as gratuity or what they styled severance benefits while public service employees who serve their country meritoriously for 35 or 40 years or attain the retirement age of 60 or 65 years are denied gratuity. I must inform you that I have equally intensified advocacy with top Government officials on the need to restore payment of gratuity to public service employees and very soon, we will all have cause to smile.”