SERAP gives ultimatum to states on pension payment

Matthew Otoijagha

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given the 36 states of the federation seven days within which to disclose payments of pensions to their former governors and other public officers. This followed the recent court ruling on pensions to former governors.

In a Freedom of Information Act request sent to Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Aminu Tambuwal and other governors, the group urged them to urgently disclose details of the payments to former governors and other ex-officials between 1999 and 2019 under their state’s pension law and provide a copy of the law to the public.

It also urged the 36 state governors to provide information on whether any such pension law exists in their states, and if so, provides the names and number of ex-governors and other ex-officials who have been receiving pensions in the state.

SERAP further demanded a commitment from the governors to publicly commit to repealing the law and pursue recovery of all funds collected under the pension law.

In a letter dated December 9, 2019 and signed by its Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, it said: “Public officials should not encourage, sustain, or implement jumbo pension laws that show an appearance of conflict of interest, impropriety or create situation of personal enrichment.”

Meanwhile, the Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association (YYSA) Worldwide has asked National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to prove to the world that he was in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war by ensuring that states Houses of Assembly repeal the pension law for former governors.

In a statement by its National Secretary, Olawale Ajao in Ibadan yesterday noted that Tinubu, who has reached the stage of paying back to society, should know that Nigerians were suffering at this point in time.

“He should consider his loyalty and cordial relationship with President Buhari and return all pensions he had collected from 2007 to date to serve as evidence that he is in support of Buhari’s anti-graft crusade,” the statement added.

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