NASS And Its Quest For Life Pension | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NASS And Its Quest For Life Pension

Posted: Jun 27, 2016 at 2:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” This saying aptly fits the Nigeria’s 8th National Assembly whose true character is being revealed day by day. Power truly intoxicates and some members of NASS are perfect examples. While Nigerians are yet to recover from the open and reckless abandonment of constitutional duties displayed by the 8th Senate when about 50 of their members were appearing daily at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, purportedly in solidarity for the embattled Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the 8thNASS has yet come up with another mischievous proposal.

Following sharp disagreement among the participants at the recently concluded Constitution Review Retreat held in Lagos, the committee on constitution review still went ahead to recommend provision for the payment of life pension to the principal officers of the two chambers after they leave offices. This is not only ridiculous; it is preposterous, condemnable, unfair and completely unpatriotic.

It is ridiculous because, it is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that the country cannot continue to carry an already high recurrent expenditure as a nation and there is no better time than now when every arm of government must creatively look inward with a view to reviewing their costs downwards. Should it be at this time when Revenue lines are thinning out that the Senate should come up with such provision?

It is condemnable for the reason that these Principal Officers are already enjoying perks and benefits that are way beyond what obtains in other climes. They are entitled to several allowances apart from Security vote and Constituency Allowances that end up not being used for their constituencies. So, why ask for life pension? On whose bill will that be?

At a time when minimum wage of =N=18,000 cannot even be paid and majority of the States in the Federation are owing arrears of salaries and pensions, the committee is requesting for the principal officers of the Upper and Lower Chambers to be added to the wage bill. This is totally unfair. It clearly shows that the members in support of this provision are only there for their personal interest. It also reveals the working of the minds of the leadership of the two Chambers. This should not have been allowed to be raised, let alone discussed, if these leaders have Nigeria’s interest at heart.

In his remarks, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President and chairman of the constitution review committee, was reported to have said, “This has nothing to do with an individual. It is about the institution. Let us not politicise it. Nobody elected the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), but he enjoys pension. But if we cheapen our own institution, so be it. Let us not make this a personal thing.” Should we ask him if the CJN was elected or appointed? Is the CJN not an employee of the Federal Civil Service before rising to that position? Is the CJN position a pensionable position or not? Do we have provisions in the Pension Reform Act 2004 for payment of pension to the principal officers of the National Assembly? This is not about cheapening the National Assembly, it is about service. It is about representing your constituency not yourselves.


If after serving your countrymen, with your service grossly overcompensated, you still demand that the same people you served should foot your bills after leaving office, then resign and let someone else represent them. Nigerians, certainly, do not need such expensive lawmakers. Service is a choice and not by compulsion. Asking for more of taxpayers’ money after leaving office is not just unreasonable, it is simply unpatriotic! This pursuit of life pension is a NO-NO. We decry it and ask Nigerians to object to this recommendation.