Gov. Dickson declines assent to ‘Life Pension Bill’ for legislators

Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa State Governor
Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa State Governor

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Monday heeded to public outcry and declined assent to the bill seeking life pension for the state lawmakers as canvassed by the state House of Assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 24-member legislature dominated by 22 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members on April 24 hurriedly passed the proposed pension bill for current and past members.

The bill proposed a monthly pension of N100,000 for members while the Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be entitled to N500,000 and N200,000, respectively.

But the state Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, quoted the governor as having said that he conveyed the decision to withold assent to the Bill in a letter to the Speaker òf the Bayelsa State House òf Assembly on Monday.

According to him, the governor held consultations with the Assembly members in his country home of Toru-Orua, where he explained his reason for declining assent.

Mr Iworiso-Markson quoted the governor as having said that the bill was inconsistent with Section 124 of the Constitution òf the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Mr Dickson said that he was of the view that the State Assembly lacked the powers to expand the categories of public servants who should be entitled to pension.

“The provisions of this Bill granting pension to members of Bayelsa State House òf Assembly and the extension of same to former members of the Assembly and Bayelsa indigenes who served in the Old Rivers State House of Assembly, is inconsistent with Section 124 of the Constitution òf the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“I am not convinced about the legality of this Billl which seeks to expand the categories of persons entitled to pension.

“While I agree that the Assembly can adjust the quantum of pension payable to persons entitled to pension, I am not convinced that the House has powers to add to the categories of pensionable public officers.


nlng Campaign AD

“Evidently, there is no record of any other state in this country that has expanded the categories of pensionable public officers to include lawmakers.

“I do not agree that Bayelsa which is coping with all the myriads of issues and challenges, with our low Internally Generated Revenue base and the unpredictable oil economy, should be the first to initiate this,” Dickson said.


wits Advert

The opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC), Civil Society groups and civil servants had condemned the lawmakers for passing the bill they described as self seeking.

Mr Dickson said that despite withholding his assent to the bill, he still holds the Assembly in very high esteem.


SGF Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.