FORMER Federal Commissioner in the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Chief Deji Fasuan, has faulted some lawmakers’ bid to pass laws conferring monthly life salaries and pensions on themselves.
Fasuan said they were attempting to reap where they did not sow and would ultimately help “to run the country aground”.
Some states have recently begun the process of enacting legislations to provide monthly life pensions for legislators.
In Bayelsa State, the bill was rejected by the Governor Seriake Dickson, following widespread condemnation by the public.
On May 9, the Kano State House of Assembly passed into law the Pensions Rights of Speaker and Deputy Law 2019, which will enable the two presiding officers earn life pension after leaving the office.
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The two lawmakers will also be entitled to foreign medical trips and brand new vehicles every four years.
Fasuan noted that the legislator’s wish, “which perhaps will ultimately include local government councillors, has been received with utter surprise by some African countries and even with a majority of Nigerians.
He said: “After three or four years of irregular attendance at both plenary and committee meetings, our legislators want to be paid salaries, wages and allowances, among others for the rest of their life. This is in addition to the disengagement benefit due after their first tenure of three to four years.
“If these benefits become operative, legislators or even councilors, who have throughout their tenure made little or no contribution to national debate will forever live a life of bliss, eating deep where they did not sow and ultimately helping to run the country aground.
According to the former Permanent Secretary and Chairman, Committee for the Creation of Ekiti State, the struggle to become a councillor, state or a federal legislator, “is already a matter of do-or-die”.
“This is even before their financial benefits do not extend to a whole life span.”
He backed proposal by some Nigerians for part-time legislative assemblies, “because these so-called lawmakers are contributing very little to national development”.
Fasuan also suggested a constitutional amendment to improve governance.