A coalition of 40 NGOs has sued the 36 states governors, state assemblies, RMAFC and the Attorney General of the Federation, seeking to nullify the various pension laws enacted by some 36 states Houses of Assembly, in 2017. The Zamfara State House of Assembly law which abolished such jumbo pension to ex-governors last week seems to have heightened consciousness by making it go viral.
THE suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, by the NGOs lead counsel, Barrister Chino Obiagwu is seeking an order to recover any pension payments paid to ex-governors or deputies, who still serve as senators, ministers, stressing that the RMAFC law supersedes any law passed by the state legislatures.
CHAIRMAN RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam was quoted saying, based on remuneration Act 2008, a severance allowance of 300% is provided for the governors, provided that they have served for a minimum of two (2) years. While the laws empower states Assemblies to make pension laws for their governors and deputies, that position is today being contested in a law court.
COME to think of it morally, despite the constitutionality and legality of the matter, how can such a law be permitted in a country with humongous wealth such as Nigeria, yet called the poverty capital of the world? Abysmal riches in the midst of squalid living conditions for the Majority of Nigerians, in a country, according to Bureau of Statistics, with 23% of unemployment; where it has become very difficult for ordinary citizens to eat two meals in a day.
WE believe, and have asserted in a number of our past editorial commentaries that one of the fundamental problems staring the Nigeria’s political economy in the face is its reward system. Nigeria’s rewards system is anti-productive, and does not any way encourage hard work, merit and creativity. How can a local government councilor, who probably is a diploma holder or even a secondary school certificate holder, be made to earn what some University professors do not earn? What is the logic in that and how can the younger, less educated be encouraged to aspire higher?
UNLESS the reward system in Nigeria undergoes total review and reform, the country’s fortune will only be matching too long on a spot. This reform must consider the background of all, from civil servants, the military, para-military and all for an all-embracing remuneration packages. The oil wealth madness should by now begin to clear form the eyes and senses of the Nigerian ruling elite. Thanks to the summersault of the oil price and the international politicking that accompany it.
IT is time for a review of the loquacious reward system, where wealth is concentrated in the hands of just a few albeit unproductive ones, people who do not contributing to the to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
INDEED, Nigeria needs wholistic restructuring. It is time to free and release the abundant productive and creative potentials of the diverse people of Nigeria. This, we believe is the way out of the present dilemma.