Constitution amendment: Lawan, Gbajabiamila, others to get life pension


The National Assembly has renewed the move to grant life pension for its presiding officers.

They include the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as his deputy.

Many Nigerians would think this matter was dead due to the outrage it received from some civil society organisations and some notable individuals the first time the proposal was made on the floor of the Senate.

Over N7.8bn is already being spent to service the life pensions of all former Presidents, be it military or civilian, and their vices as enshrined in the 1999 constitution (Section 84(5).)

And the proposal to add the principal officers of the National Assembly to this list has resurfaced.

The current leadership of the National Assembly, comprising the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; and their deputies may be the first to benefit.

The National Assembly’s Joint Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution made this revelation on Wednesday.

The Committee presented its report, containing 68 recommendations in the respective chambers, yesterday, and that proposal was one of them.

Recommendation 16 reads, “That the House does receive the report of the Special Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution on a Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide Pension for Presiding Officers of the National Assembly; and for Related Matters.”

Recall that when this particular proposal was first raised during the Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogsra-led Eight Assembly, it was vehemently rejected by Nigerians and some notable civil rights groups, such as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), who had described it as self-serving and despicable.

SERAP had further called on Saraki and Dogara to show leadership and refocus the National Assembly to perform their law-making functions.

The rights group was worried that this proposal was being made by some former governors in the Senate, who are already enjoying ‘pensions’ for serving as governors for eight years in their States.

The approval of the life pension would amount to a gross “injustice and double jeopardy for millions of Nigerian pensioners who continue to be denied the fruit of their labour in old age,” the group had said in a statement issued in Abuja by Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP’s Executive Director, on Sunday, June 19, 2016.

Post a Comment