The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has commended Zamfara House of Assembly for abolishing ‘despicable’ life pension law in the state.
Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Rafsanjani said that payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors, their deputies and former speakers and their deputies, was a way of siphoning public treasury.
He encouraged other states with similar laws to follow suite to uphold prudence, accountability and openness in governance.
“We appreciate constructive legislative process that repealed the contemptible law in the state assembly.
“This fruitful legislative action is a declaration of readiness for people-oriented legislative process, which if sustained, will positively transform the state’s socio-economic and political spheres,’’ he said.
Rafsanjani decried the alarming recurrent expenditures with resultant high cost of governance that backpedals development of critical sectors in Nigeria.
“Many states are caught in ill-thought efforts to needlessly legalise increased pensions and remunerations for retired public officer holders.
“Nigerians are not unaware of the unjustified political intentions with deliberate effort to siphon public treasury through which the law emerged across the states.
“This is in spite of 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.
“We are worried that the increasing clamours 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 electoral process,’’ he said.
The director tasked Nigerians to learn from other efficient democracies where public office holders were disallowed from enjoying further benefits after their tenures.
He also urged Nigerians to demand strict compliance with entitlements prescribed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission in all remunerations and entitlements at all levels.
This he said, would prevent continued deployment of the state resources into pocket-serving political moves.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take drastic steps to reduce the growing cost of governance to allow for adequate resource allocation to finance critical sectors and eradicate poverty at all levels.
He also urged well-meaning citizens, civil society organisations and the media to remain vigilant and discourage pocket-serving legislative moves that could result in monumental financial loss to the country.