SERAP tasks governors on abolition of double pay, pension laws

Abdulaziz Yari

A Lagos-based rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, to make a clear public commitment that all governors will take immediate steps to abolish double emolument laws for former governors and deputies in their states.

SERAP, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, said: “Governor Yari should show leadership by example by starting the campaign within the governors’ forum to abolish double emolument laws in his own Zamfara State, which allow former governors to receive pension for life; two personal members of staff; two vehicles replaceable every four years; two drivers, free medical for the former governors and deputies and their immediate families in Nigeria or abroad; a four-bedroom house in Zamfara and an office; free telephone and 30 days paid vacation outside Nigeria.”

According to the group, “following the positive engagement and intervention of the Senate President on the matter, it is now indefensible for the governors’ forum to remain indifferent to the issue of double emoluments for former governors and their deputies. We urge Governor Yari to speak out strongly against double pension laws and encourage his colleagues to urgently take measures to abolish such laws in their states for the sake of millions of Nigerians who deserve good governance and sustainable development.”

“By providing the necessary leadership on the matter, Governor Yari will be sending a powerful message to his colleagues that public function is meant to be exercised in the public interest. Such public commitment and action to abolish double emolument laws would also be entirely consistent with Article 19 of the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.

“Given the strong influence of senators on their states, we also urge the Senate President to now build on his public statement to state assemblies by immediately taking steps to sponsor a resolution at the Senate on the matter.

“The abolition of such laws 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.

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Abdulaziz YariSERAP
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