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Assemblies ‘backed by law’ to determine governors’ pensions

Assemblies ‘backed by law’ to determine governors’ pensions
June 04
11:28 2014

In response to the public outcry on the new pension law in Akwa Ibom State for former governors and their deputies, Mr. Elias Mbam, chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said that it is the constitutional duty of state houses of assembly to determine the pensions of governors and their deputies — not the commission.

Citing Section 124, Subsection 5 of the Nigerian constitution, Mbam said: “The constitution makes it clear who determines the pensions of governors and their deputies. State assemblies are empowered by the constitution to enact laws regarding the pensions of governors and their deputies.

“What the commission determines in terms of what political, public and judicial office holders get at the end of their tenures is ‘severance gratuity’, which is different from pension.”

He said the severance gratuity is in the commission’s document for the remuneration package of political, public and judicial office holders in states — an allowance to take care of compulsory redundancy that may be brought as a result of the expiration of the tenure of the office holder.

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“The recommendation is to maintain this allowance at 300% of annual basic salary enjoyable by elected and appointed political, public and judicial office holders at all tiers of government after the successful completion of each tenure,” he said.

“This should be on the condition that the affected officers would have disengaged honourably, which means that cessation of service must not be due to impeachment, dismissal or termination of appointment due to proven case of impropriety and/or related offences.”

Mbam further said that the new pension law in Akwa Ibom could not be faulted, as it followed due constitutional process.

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RMAFC is challenging former governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, in court for rustling up a policy that entitled him to pension while he was still serving.

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