Nigeria News

Conference Bars Governors, Deputies, Lawmakers from Pension

As part of interventions to check fraud, corruption and cash-flight from government coffers, the national conference yesterday recommended for the exemption of governors, their deputies and lawmakers both at federal and state levels from benefiting from government pension scheme.
The conference while considering the report of its committee on Public Service  rejected another recommendation seeking for an up-ward review of the retirement age of civil servants from present 60 years and 65 years.
In the report, the Public Service Committee had recommended payment of pension, life insurance, and severance for legislators should cancelled in line with global best practices.
It also proposed that legislators at the national and state levels should function on part-time basis while their allowance should be comparable with what obtains in other arms of the public service.
On the issue of payment of pension, life insurance and severance package, majority of delegates voted that legislators should  not be given such benefit. They also voted that the same recommendation should be extended to governors and deputies.
Also yesterday, a motion sponsored by two of the delegates, Yinka Odumakin and Hon. Mohammed Kumalia urging that the civil service shall adopt the Bank Declaration of Assets Act of 2004 on full disclosure of assets was approved.
The  motion titled "Monitoring of the lifestyle of Public Officers and the Enforcement of the Code of Conduct Bureau" which had some similarities with the Code of Conduct Act requires that every employee shall within 14 days of the commencement of the Act make full disclosure of all his assets.
In case of a new employee, the Act said he or her shall within 14 days of assuming duty make full disclosure of the assets.
According to the motion, the proposed anti corruption Act will provide for a yearly declaration of assets by civil servants.
In furtherance of actions to curb corruption in public service, the conference recommended that any  civil servant found guilty of executing contracts for pecuniary benefits should be dismissed from service.
The conference votes on the amendments which was conducted by the Deputy Chairman of the conference Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi took other far-reaching positions including the creation of a separate Foreign Service Commission
Delegates voted in support of the establishment of the creation of Foreign Service Commission and subsequent amendment of the constitution to effect it.
The foreign service commission will function to facilitate the employment, promotion and discipline of foreign affairs officers and it is meant to have a chairman and six commissioners, one each from the six geo-political zones.
Delegates also approved that there should no transfer from outside of the civil service to the directorate levels.
The recommendation that there should be upward review of retirement age from 60 years to 65 years was rejected.
Other amendments approved yesterday by the delegates include,  a proposal to grant an extra allowance equivalent to grade level 06 to persons living with disabilities to enable them provide for their aides,  a proposal that appointments to the office of the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS) shall not be made except from among serving federal permanent secretaries and that the same principle shall apply in the states and operating common procedures and rules  by state civil service.
The conference also gave vent to a proposal for a constitutional provision to make it mandatory to have a state character commission to safeguard the interests of minorities.
While contributing to debates, delegate Jadin Ibinu said many civil servants have become 'born- again' and always reducing their ages just as they get older in the service, adding that by hiking the retirement age workers, the conference committee will be further prolonging their stay in office and shutting out younger ones.
He also said there is no need to move the issue of minimum wage from the exclusive list to concurrent list as was being suggested.
According to Ibidun,  if the various states have accepted the uniform remunerations of political office holders as recommended by RMAFC and is implementing, the state government have no moral justification not to obey the national minimum wage.
Another delegate, Prof. ABC Nwosu suggested a right-sizing of the bogus civil service in order cut down on cost of governance in the country.
He also said RMAFC should be made to be responsible for salaries and wages of all cadres of civil servants in addition to political office holders.  Advocated
Alhaji Maina Waziri addressed the effective application of the federal character principles by the Federal Character Commission, noting that the committee had reported that the commission is implementing the principle in breach.
He said the whole essence of the federal commission is to ensure equitable representation in all spheres of the civil service.

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