The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on Wednesday commended the giant stride by the Zamfara State House of Assembly for the abolishment of despicable law that allows payment of pension and other entitlements for former governors, their deputies, former speaker, and their deputies.
‘’While we appreciate the constructive legislative process that repealed the contemptible law in the State Assembly, we encourage other states with similar law to follow suit to uphold prudence, accountability, and openness in governance,’’ said CISLAC in a statement.
The statement issued by CISLAC Executive Director Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) and forwarded to Solacebase said ‘’we observed the fruitful legislative action by the Zamfara State Assembly as a declaration of readiness for the people-oriented legislative process, which if sustained will positively transform the state socio-economic and political spheres.’’
It expressed surprise that despite alarming recurrent expenditures with a resultant high cost of governance that backpedals the development of the critical sector in Nigeria, many states are caught in ill-thought efforts to needlessly legalize increased pensions and remunerations for retired public officer holders.
According to the statement ,’’we are not unaware of the unjustified political intentions with deliberate effort to siphon public treasury through which the law emerged across the states, despite numerous jumbo salaries, allowances, benefits, and public paid expenses enjoyed by the governors, their deputies, former speaker and their deputies throughout and after their tenures.
‘’This includes the states that erected private buildings as retirement packages for the public office holders as well as former governors who enjoy double payments from Senatorial positions.’’
The statement said CISLAC is also worried that the increasing clamors for life-time pension and benefits accrued to public office holders across the states constitute major sabotage to effective and efficient governance, hence exacerbating electoral violence and discredited the electoral process.
The CSO, in the statement, encouraged Nigeria to learn from other efficient democracies, where public office holders are disallowed from enjoying further benefits after their tenures.
‘’We demand 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.’’
‘’We call on President Muhammad Buhari to take appreciable and drastic steps to reduce the growing cost of governance in the country to allow adequate resource allocation to finance critical sector and eradicate poverty at all levels.’’
‘’We call on well-meaning citizens, civil society and the media to remain vigilant and discourage pocket-serving legislative moves that may result in a monumental financial loss to the country.’’