Nlc Demand Immediate Refund From Ex-governors, Deputies Earning Double Salary
BEVERLY HILLS, April 14, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Thursday joined the call for all retired or former public officers who are now occupying elected offices to desist from drawing both pension and salary from government coffers. It demanded them to refund such money forthwith as the practice was illegal and immoral.
This newspaper had published an editorial titled: 'It is morally wrong for public officials to earn both pension and salaries' . The standpoint called “on the affected public servants to, in good faith, drop one of the incomes they are receiving at their constituents' expense”, even as it urged “the Federal Government to urgently sponsor an executive Bill to strengthen the existing law to better guard against this.”
In a statement signed by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the organized labour wondered why politicians will be collecting double pay from public coffers when workers are perpetually being owed their salary.
The NLC further challenged the federal government to act in line with its fight against corruption by not only ensuring the ill-gotten payments are refunded forthwith, but work towards ensuring that governors do not ever creates for themselves such criminal advantages.
Insisting that nobody is above the law, the statement entitled “No double salary for any public officer” stressed that state laws legalizing such acts should be repealed forthwith since they are subordinated to Federal laws
According to the NLC, “We are saddened by the recent revelations that not less than 21 governors and deputy governors are Senators or Ministers and drawing billions of Naira in pension payment and salaries (at the same time) while millions of wage earners go without salaries for months on end.
“Our revulsion stems from the fact that most, if not all of these ex-governors coerced or seduced their various Houses of Assembly into approving for them these bogus and illegitimate pension rates and property (as cars and houses) in contravention of the extant laws and regulations by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
“Similarly, they are mindlessly drawing these allowances (that they do not need) from our commonwealth when the states are in serious financial difficulty and poverty is rife in the land. They get paid regularly whether the state can afford it nor not.
“We hold the view that State laws are subordinated to Federal laws and when there is a conflict they should give way to the Federal laws.
“We similarly hold the view that it offends the principle of universal justice, equity and good conscience when laws are specifically or premeditatively made for or against an individual or a group of individuals in order to exact an undue advantage or revenge.
“In view of the above, we demand that these offensive State laws be repealed forthwith, and the ex-governors and their ex-deputies be made to refund what they have taken because it is illegal and immoral to collect double pay from the same public coffers. We demand that all citizens be treated equally in furtherance of their fundamental rights.
“We also demand that the Federal Government in the spirit of its fight against corruption not only ensure these ill-gotten payments are refunded forthwith, it should ensure no governor ever create for themselves such criminal advantages. Nobody is above the law.
“We have no doubt that these illegal “severance” payments running into billions of Naira, if released into the system, will significantly uplift the quality of the life of the citizenry.”