MARK , TAMBUWAL TO GET PENSION FOR LIFE
A recommendation to allow former National Assembly presiding officers enjoy pension for life, has been approved by the state Houses of Assembly.
It is part of the ongoing amendment to the 1999 Constitution, earlier passed by the National Assembly.
According to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, the Senate President takes an annual basic salary of N2, 484,242.00 and allowances totalling N13, 911,758.00, while the Deputy Senate President earns N2, 309,166.75 and allowances totalling N12, 931,333.55.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives earns an annual basic salary of N2, 477,110.00 and allowances running into N9, 784,384.00, while the deputy takes N2, 287,034.25 and N8, 004,280.00, as salary and allowances, respectively
Nigeria's former leaders, including those who came to power through military coups are already enjoying the privilege. Past Chief Justices of the Federation are also beneficiaries.
A total of 33 out of the 36 state legislatures voted in support of the alteration of Section 84 of the Constitution to insert a new subsection 5A to read, “Any person who has held office as President of the Senate, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall be admitted to pension for life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbent President or Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives”.
The law however came with a proviso that “Provided that such a person was not removed from office by the process of impeachment or for breach of any of the provision of this Constitution”.
The law however did not exclude public officials like David Mark, the president of the Nigerian Senate, who, as a military retiree, currently enjoys pension from the government. Nigerian public service rules clearly prohibits public office holders from drawing pension from more than one government source.
Only Edo, Ondo and Osun States legislatures opposed the amendments. All 33 other states backed the proposal, effectively completing the amendment process.
Both chambers of the National Assembly, Senate and the House of Representatives, had in 2014 approved the proposal on pension, alongside those for more than a dozen other subjects, before sending them to the state Houses of Assembly for concurrence or otherwise, in line the provisions of the Constitution. At least 24 states assembly must vote in support for any clause to pass.
The current amendment to the Constitution promulgated by the military administration of Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999 is the fourth of such exercise.
The Deputy Senate President is statutorily the chairman of the review committee.
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