Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Nigerians want ex-governors’ jumbo allowances stopped

Stakeholders in Bauchi, Dutse and Gombe have advocated the repeal of jumbo allowance for ex-governors, their deputies and other officials in Nigerians.

• May 25, 2023
Governor mohammed Badaru, Inuwa Yahaya and Bala Mohammed
Governor mohammed Badaru, Inuwa Yahaya and Bala Mohammed

Stakeholders in Bauchi, Dutse and Gombe have advocated the repeal of jumbo allowance for ex-governors, their deputies and other officials in Nigerians.

They also warned against the last-minute appointment and award of contracts by outgoing governors.

The stakeholders, including academics, politicians, pensioners and civil society activists, made the call in separate interviews in Bauchi, Dutse and Gombe.

They argued that the measure was imperative towards keeping the costs of governance low and promoting selflessness in public service, saying it is wrong for some former governors, who have become ministers and senators, to benefit from the pension laws in their respective states, while simultaneously receiving salaries and allowances provided by their current offices in contravention of the Code of Conduct Act.

They added that the repeal of jumbo allowance for ex-governors is consistent with the country’s current economic situation.

Nigel Bachama, head of the economics department at the Gombe State University (GSU), asked the legislators to repeal severance packages for ex-governors and their deputies.

“We are calling on legislators across the 36 states in the country to review the law that created gratuity and pensions for governors and their deputies,” he noted.

Rambi Ayala (NNPP – Billiri East state constituency) and Ibrahim Yusuf, chairman of the association of non-governmental organisations in Gombe, dismissed the severance allowance for ex-governors as “unrealistic and insensitive.”

Sinusi Alhassan Maigatari, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Jigawa, dismissed payment of life pension to ex-governors as unacceptable given the economic reality in the country.

Mr Maigatari argued that payment of life pension to ex-governors is uncalled-for because most states have outstanding gratuities and other bills to pay.

Adamu Sha’aibu, chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), said the jumbo pay contravened constitutional provisions, arguing that governors masterminded the law to the detriment of the people.

Also, retired workers Umar Baballe and Umar AbdulAziz called for pragmatic economic policies to boost states’ revenue sources and encourage economic diversification, making them less dependent on the federal government.

They advised the governors to prioritise programmes to move the citizens out of poverty and invest in infrastructure development projects.

Ibrahim Ali, a Bauchi-based public analyst, decried last-minute appointment and award of contracts by some outgoing governors, describing it as inimical to the entrenchment of democratic governance in the country.

“Some governors are awarding contracts in a desperate move to siphon public coffers because life after office looks bleak, so they need something to fall on to,” explained Mr Ali.

He added, “The trend is not good for the democratic process because it’s supposed to be a government of the people for the people. As a governor, you are supposed to work and serve the people.”


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