Double pay: SERAP welcomes Saraki’s move to stop receiving pensions

Senate President, Bukola Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has welcomed Senate President Bukola Saraki’s move to “stop receiving pensions from Kwara state, where he was the governor between 2003 and 2011, and urges him to join us in the campaign to end the unjust, unfair and discriminatory practice of providing life pensions to former governors and to abolish laws that make this possible.”

Mr. Saraki told the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja on Tuesday that he wrote a letter to the state government to stop the payment of the pension “the moment I saw that SERAP allegation.” He said, “No, I’m not collecting pension; the moment I saw that allegation, I wrote to my state to stop my pension.”

In a statement on Wednesday by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said, “It’s good news that Dr Saraki has publicly made known that he has stopped drawing pensions from Kwara state. We hope that other public officials still receiving double emoluments will follow Dr Saraki’s example and renounce such practice. We also urge the Senate President to publicly commit to donating to charities of his choice all pensions and allowances he has so far collected or to such emoluments to the public treasury.”

SERAP also asked “the Senate President to use his leadership position to urgently facilitate a resolution by the National Assembly condemning the practice and laws on double pay and life pensions for former governors now serving public officials; urging state assemblies to abolish such laws; and calling on those that have received such emoluments to return them to the public treasury.”

SERAP urged “Dr Saraki to work with us to put meaningful pressure on other states to abolish their unfair and discriminatory life pensions laws as well as on serving senators and ministers who continue to receive double emoluments to end the practice and return all the emoluments they have so far received to the public treasury. Dr Saraki can start by putting pressure on the governor of Kwara state Mr. Abdulfatah Ahmed and the state house of assembly to move swiftly to abolish the law that has facilitated the payment of the unjust pensions in the first place.”

It would be recalled that SERAP had last week in an open letter called on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to within seven days challenge the legality of states’ laws allowing former governors to draw life pensions from their states.

The letter dated July 14, 2017 read in part: “Public interest is not well served when government officials such as former governors, deputies supplement their emoluments in their current positions with life pensions and emoluments drawn from their states’ meagre resources, and thereby prioritising their private or personal interests over and above the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”

“By signing such double emoluments and large benefits laws which they knew or ought to know that they would be beneficiaries, these former governors have abused their entrusted public functions and positions, and thereby obtained an undue advantage, contrary to article 19 of the UN Convention against Corruption.”

“These states’ laws allowing former governors to receive life pensions either now or in the future have a discriminatory purpose that involves an intent to discriminate against ordinary workers and pensioners. Such laws enhance the economic status of public officials and their families at the expense of the citizens that they are elected to serve, have no legitimacy at all, and cannot be justified either on legal or moral grounds.”

“SERAP is concerned that such laws have either the purpose or the effect of denying the citizens their right to the enjoyment of their commonwealth, and as such, prolonging the existing and entrenched poverty-gaps across the country. The implementation of these laws will continue to lock the citizens, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable groups, into lives of deprivation and hopelessness.”

“SERAP holds the firm view that there are clear casual and consequential links between implementation of unfair life pensions’ laws for former governors and violation of human dignity of citizens. Such laws deprive citizens of resources, capabilities, freedoms and choices necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and sustainable livelihood.”

“The abolition of such laws therefore is a necessary first step towards delivering on the constitutional promise of equal protection and equal benefit of the law for a distressingly large number of Nigerians.
Otherwise, public officials will remain seriously out of touch with a major source of poverty and discrimination in the country.”


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  • Agba

    SERAP is a disappointment to humanity,instead of telling Saraki to return the illegal money he collected,you are praising him.NONSENSE

    • God dey

      But are you reading a different statement? Because I just read here SERAP calling for the return of the funds. Pls read carefully again

    • shasha

      You need a brain refurbishment. Read the story again or you want it to be interpreted in your local language?

  • God dey

    Very good move from Saraki. I’m begining to like this guy. Hope others will follow his good example. It takes a man to do what he has just done. Next Dr Saraki pls heed SERAP’s advice to return the funds collected/donate to charities or for development like building schools, hospitals in Kwara

    • Ajayi Ifayemi

      Please do not get carried away. The man Saraki calculates all his moves and none of them is to the benefit of the nation. It is always Saraki first.

    • Sword of Damocles

      expand ur thinking. The man wants to be your President. He has made a determination that it must be his next position. All of this is to deceive people like you. Have you asked him to return the payments he received so far? He also stated in the same interview that it is immoral to get double payments from a Poor country like Nigeria. MR citizen, have you bothered wondering when he realized it was IMMORAL? I have a question for now… do you think every citizen should have the right to vote if they cant THINK??

  • Gary

    Bola Tinubu, one of SERAP’s sponsors, set the ball rolling with the practice of the outlandish life pension and benefits for ex-Governors in the Fourth Republic. Which includes entitlements like free cars every other year and houses in Lagos AND Abuja.

    Smart guy, he’s not in the Senate but sent his wife to represent him. The income and benefits go into the same family purse. Plus his super-lucrative role as the Chief Tax Collector and Land Registrar of Lagos State.

    In Delta State, LG workers have not been paid in over a year but while they have toiled as slaves, James Ibori was receiving his generous pension benefits as he sat in a British prison for robbing Delta State blind as Governor.
    Ibori is not in the Senate but in his case, his daughter is the Chairwoman of the lucrative Appropriations Committee in the Delta State Assembly.

    It is incontrovertible that James Ibori is to Delta State what Bola Tinubu is to Lagos State. His latest minion as Governor, Peter Okowa, just recently commissioned a spanking new project in Asaba…..wait for it….a state of the art and futuristic Petrol Station. Please Google it if you think this is a joke.
    The people of Benue State were “empowered” with wheel barrows by their Governor while those in Delta are blessed by theirs with a privately owned petrol station.

    Same story all over the country: past and current political office holders living large while the masses wallow in penury. Timipre Sylva, formerly of Bayelsa, is one of the biggest landlords in Abuja.
    Meanwhile, most his people back home have never seen a flush toilet but poop into the creeks of the River Niger.
    This is what passes for governance in Nigeria today. The legislators at the NASS or State Assemblies are not in a hurry to review these pensions but want to join the gravy train. So expect generous pensions for retired legislators and their leadership where none currently exists.
    In Nigeria, George Orwell’s Animal Farm has come to life.

  • george bolatiwa

    How do you eat an elephant, “one bite at a time”, hopefully we are beginning to chip away at the excesses of our leaders and fundamental sanitation of the system can commence, like, enforcement of the rule of law, devolution of power, state police, autonomy of the local govt and mayoral system, revamping the police force, civil service and the judiciary, PIB that allows for those who owns natural resources keep majority of the proceeds, no armored vehicles for any public servant, no overseases medical vacation for public officers, no public officer should own companies by proxies, and on and on and on……………. if you want any of these luxury then start a business of your own because in business there is no apology for profit but as a civil servant you are a cut among the rest, that is, content with little, hence you an approved leader and a true servant of the people. May God bless the FEDERAL Republic of Nigeria.