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CISLAC commends Zamfara assembly for shutting down “life pension” law

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on Wednesday praised lawmakers in Zamfara for repealing a law put in to back payment of pension and…

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on Wednesday praised lawmakers in Zamfara for repealing a law put in to back payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and speakers and their deputies.

EDITOR’S PICK: Zamfara Assembly repeals law backing jumbo allowances for Yari, ex-governors, deputies, others

It came after an October 17 letter purportedly from the “office of the former governor” Abdul’aziz Yari claiming he had not been paid his pension for June and was only paid an upkeep allowance for June and July since his tenure ended in May.
The “pension law”, assented to in March, provides that the former governor is paid a monthly upkeep allowance of N10 million and pension equivalent to his salary while he was in office.
CISLAC called the repeal of the law by the Zamfara state assembly a “giant stride” and urged other states with similar laws to do the same to uphold “prudence, accountability and openness in governance.”
“We observed the fruitful legislative action by the Zamfara State Assembly as a declaration of readiness for people-oriented legislative process, which, if sustained, will positively transform the state’s socio-economic and political spheres,” said CISLAC executive director Auwal Musa in a statement.
He said, “Despite alarming recurrent expenditures with resultant high cost of governance that backpedals development of critical sector in Nigeria, many states are caught in ill-thought efforts to needlessly legalise increased pensions and remunerations for retired public officer holders.”
CISLAC laws guaranteeing pensions for former governors who already had “jumbo salaries, allowances, benefits and public-paid expenses” were a deliberate effort to siphon public treasury.
Some of the governors have gone on to become senators and continue to receive their senatorial allowances at the same time.
“The increasing clamour for life-time pension and benefits accrued to public office holders across the states constitutes a major sabotage to effective and efficient governance, hence exacerbating electoral violence and discrediting the electoral process,” said Musa.
The centre demands strict compliance with entitlements prescribed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission in all remunerations and entitlements at all levels to prevent continued deployment of the state revenue resources into pocket-serving political moves.
It called on the presidency to take “appreciable and drastic steps” to reduce the growing cost of governance in the country to allow adequate resource allocation to finance critical sectors and eradicate poverty at all levels.