Proposed pension for Saraki, Dogara, product of greed – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress has said that the proposed life pension and immunity for the principal officers of the National Assembly was a product of greed and ego.

Mr. Ayuba Wabba
Mr. Ayuba Wabba

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement on Tuesday that those behind the move only opted to adopt an immoral, bad and illegal model put in place by the governors which could not be sustained.

Wabba said that the pension could only be paid to those who had put in 35 years of meritorious service to the country.

He lamented that the concept of pension was being subverted by politicians who awarded huge severance benefits to themselves after four years in office.

He said the decision of some exiting governors to compel the states’ Houses of Assembly to enact laws approving a sizable percentage of state allocation as severance packages was the worst manifestation of greed.

He said, “We are convinced, nothing but ego and greed are the over-riding interest for wanting to put the leadership of the legisture on life pension.

“What the governors have done is unrealistic and immoral and rather than ensure the right thing is done, some senators have elected to set up for themselves a model that is at once bad, immoral, illegal and unsustainable.

“The concept of pension derives from 35 years of meritorious service.  However, politicians in time, subverted this time-honoured practice by awarding themselves generous severance packages after four years in office.

“These packages not only make a mockery of what public servants take, the beneficiaries are paid up front while the average public service pensioner dies on the verification queue!

“The height of this infamy and greed was when exiting governors literally coerced or seduced states’ Houses of Assembly into writing into “Law” their severance packages which take a sizeable percentage of the state’s budget.”

Wabba, who challenged the senators to get their priority right, said that the focus of politics should be an urge to deliver service to the electorates, not robbery.

The NLC’s President said that it was the expectation of t labour for the Senate ‘to outlaw the criminal pensions for ex-governors and any other undeserving retiree through an amendment of the Constitution.’

He lamented that the senators had ignored the consistent calls for the removal of the immunity clause for the President, governors and their deputies as they were more interested in how to attract more perks to outshine the executive and the judiciary.

Meanwhile, the presiding officers of the National Assembly including the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are entitled to only severance allowances at the successful conclusion of their tenure in office, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission has said.