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Saraki seeks end to pension for ex-governors and deputes

Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday sought an end to payment of pensions to former governors and their deputies who hold public or political offices. Specifically, Saraki implored state Houses of Assembly to take a cue from Kwara State by passing their own versions of the bill suspending payment of pensions to former governors and deputy governors. The Kwara lawmakers had unanimously adopted the motion for the passage of the bill, which was moved by the deputy House Leader, Segilola Abdulkadir.

In a statement he issued yesterday, Saraki who governed Kwara State between 2003 and 2011commended Speaker of the state Assembly, Ali Ahmad and the entire members of the House for working towards passing the bill, noting that he influenced the action of the lawmakers.

In the statement made available to LEADERSHIP, the Senate president said, “I am pleased that following my conversation with Kwara speaker, Rt Hon Ali Ahmad, two months ago, the bill to suspend the payment of pension to former governors and their deputies when they hold a political or public office was passed into law yesterday by the Kwara House of assembly.

“Moving forward, it is my hope that other state assemblies take a cue from Kwara state and pass similar pieces of legislation into law”. Apart from Kwara, other states like Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Kano, Katsina, Rivers, Gombe and Zamfara have enacted laws to provide pension to former governors and their deputies.

In Akwa Ibom, for instance, the law empowers the state government to spend about N200 million annually on the former governor, Godswill Akpabio, even when he is earning salary as a Senator. Nigerians, including civil society organisations like Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have kicked against the pension for former governors.

SERAP has been in court since October 2017 to stop former governors, now serving as Senators and ministers, from receiving double pay and life pensions.