Double pay for ex-govs, deputies is wickedness, says CNPP
Group wants largesse returned to states
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has condemned alleged payment of double salary to former governors, deputy governors and others who are currently serving as legislators in the National Assembly and as ministers under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
According to the coalition of parties, it smacks of insensitivity on the part of the Nigerian leaders to the nation’s economic reality.
Specifically, the CNPP expressed displeasure over the report that 21 former political officeholders are now drawing salaries from public purse, as serving lawmakers and ministers, after using their various state assemblies to pass laws granting them wide range of entitlements or pension for life as former governors or deputies.
The opposition parties’ reaction was contained in a statement jointly signed by CNPP’s National Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and the Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu and made available to The Guardian yesterday.
Musa said as the umbrella body of Nigerian political parties, “we call on well-meaning Nigerians, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their affiliates as well as the civil society to strongly condemn the double pay for the ex-officeholders.
“We are dismayed that at a time when an average Nigerian can hardly afford a meal a day with their families, former governors and their deputies, now legislators or ministers get double pay from both their states and the federal government.
“They may argue that there is nothing legally restraining them from double earning from the public purse since the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Act has not prohibited the former governors or the ex-deputy governors from dual remuneration, but the double pay goes a long way to prove that they are wicked and insensitive to the current national realities.
“There is moral burden on these former office holders to show that they are in the same country, feel the pains of Nigerians and return the largesse from their respective states.”
According to CNPP, “This is a country where President Buhari recently disclosed that 27 states were struggling to pay salaries despite his administration’s N662 billion bailout funds to the states last year, yet some people serving us as legislators or ministers are getting paid by their states and the Federal Government.
“Again, these same states that are now unable to pay salaries of workers were swift to pay severance benefits and other largesse to these ex-governors who are now collecting salaries as Senators or ministers.”