The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria on Wednesday asked the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, to bow to public opinion and abrogate the new Pension Law entirely instead of trying to review it.
According to the labour group, the Akpabio’s attempt to review the Pension Law by introducing Health Insurance Scheme for himself, his wife, and the Deputy Governor fell short of public expectation.
While calling on him to repeal and not review the Pension Law, the ASCSN advised all other states such as Rivers, Lagos, Borno, Gombe and Kano that had passed similar legislations to abrogate them without further delay.
The association also enjoined the trade union movement, the Civil Society Organisations, prominent citizens, religious leaders, and all men and women of goodwill in Nigeria to stand up against the emerging Pension Laws in the five states, which are designed to hand over the entire budgets to the governors, their deputies and their wives.
The Secretary-General of ASCSN, Mr. Alade Lawal, in a statement, regretted that in a state where the majority of the citizens live below the poverty line and subsisting on less than $1 per day, Akpabio drafted Akwa Ibom State Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Law 2014 “which contained humongous benefits for himself, his wife and the Deputy Governor.”
He said, “We demand that the Pension Law should be repealed entirely because the whopping pension benefits for the Governor, his wife and the Deputy Governor would wreck the economy of the State.
“We wondered why the Governor and his Deputy should receive humongous sums as terminal benefits after four or eight years of service when other Public Servants including Civil Servants who serve the State for 35 years are paid pittance as gratuity and pension.”
Lawal argued that it was bad enough that the law was designed for the benefit of few privileged individuals and their wives adding that “for the Governor to have packaged N200m life pension for himself was the height of insensitivity.”
The association alleged that other benefits for the Governor include but not limited to N100m medical allowance which he is seeking to review; building and maintenance of mansions of not less than 5-bed room in Abuja and Akwa Ibom State; vehicle maintenance allowance, 300 per cent of annual salary; gratuity 300 per cent; utility allowance, 100 per cent; entertainment allowance, 100 per cent; N5m monthly allowance for three domestic servants all for life.
“Even if the Medical Allowance of N100m for the Governor, N50m for his Deputy, and N12m for his wife after the demise of the Governor is replaced with Health Insurance Scheme, what will happen to these other mouth-watering allowances,” it said.