Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said in Abuja on Thursday that poor documentations and lack of understanding of procedures are some of the reasons for the delayed payment of death gratuities to next of kins of civil servants who died in active service.
Dr Yemi-Esan who stated this at an event to mark the 2021 Nigeria Civil Service Week further noted that poor documentations make it almost impossible for insurance companies to pay death benefits even when valid claims are made.
The federal government according to the Head of Service released over N2 billion last year for the payment of backlog of death benefits, noting that as a result, 594 beneficiaries have been paid.
She said: “If the documentation is not complete, insurance companies do not pay premiums. The insurance companies will not touch it. The letter of attestation is very important and in most cases, the next of kin don’t know where to start from.
“Following the release of N2.5 billion to pay back log of death benefits to the next of kin of deceased officers, as at today, the sum of N2, 468, 094,063.08 has been expended to settle 594 beneficiaries. The balance will be paid to other beneficiaries once the Office receives the requisite banks’ attestation.”
The Head of Service also chided desk heads in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) most of whom she said, lacked sufficient knowledge of what is expected of them in the processing of death benefit claims.
“This office does not receive letters from the families of the dead. It is the institution that writes to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service. Even the pension desk office in the MDAs do not understand the process but we are determine on bringing the desk heads together so that we can educate them. We want to get things done properly,” she assured.Against the backdrop of the far-reaching recommendations by the Steve Oronsaye Report of 2011, Dr. Yemi-Esan was asked what had become of the report, to which she responded thus: “The Steve Oronsaye committee was a Presidential Committee domiciled at the Head of Service. It was not a committee set up by Office of the Head of Service as some people are tempted to believe. (Leadership)