18th July, 2012
As the House of Representatives begins enactment of a law seeking pension and gratuity for legislators, some politicians have condemned the proposal.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the decision was a demonstration of greed and insensitivity on the part of the lawmakers.
The National Chairman of the Progressive Action Council (PAC), Chief Charles Nwodo, told NAN that the legislators were already earning jumbo salaries and allowances and did not need pension and gratuity.
Nwodo said that Nigerians were already angry at the ‘fat’ salaries and allowances of the lawmakers.
He also said that the timing of the bill was wrong.
“At this moment, they should focus all attention on how to collaborate with the executive arm to rid the country of corruption.
“They should also bring about laws that will unite this nation,” he said.
He also suggested that legislation should be a part-time job.
Also, the National Chairman of the People’s Progressive Party, Mr. Damian Ogbonna, said that legislation was not a career and did not require pension and gratuity.
“Legislators are just officers elected to work for a brief period of time; so, it is wrong for them to grant themselves pensions.
The National Public Relations Officer of the KOWA Party, Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, also condemned the plan.
“These legislators owe us money already because they have taken much more than they deserved and far more than they worked for.
“Assuming we have legislators whose salaries are reasonable and comparable to the salaries of civil servants, maybe, we can think about some kind of takeaway benefits for them,” she said.
The National Secretary of the Democratic People’s Alliance, Mr Sam Onimisi, also told NAN that the decision would increase corruption.
He advised lawmakers to drop the bill.
NAN reports that the bill entitled “National Pension and Gratuity Bill, 2012, is being sponsored by Mr Baba Adewale representing the Apapa Federal Constituency.