Zamfara State House Of Assembly Abolishes Pension For Ex-Governors, Deputies, Speakers’ & Deputies

Activists, economists and even the Nigerian citizens have often argued that the cost of governance in the country was too high. The staggering amounts of money which is budgeted annually as recurrent expenditure is mind blowing and often raises controversies each time a new budget is presented to the NASS. It appears that things may change in the near future, if the recent happening in Zamfara State is emulated across all spheres of governance.

The Zamfara House of Assembly yesterday, abolished a law that allowed the payment of pension and other allowances to former governors and their deputies in the state. According to the spokesperson of the states’ assembly, Mustapha Jafaru, who spoke to journalists in Zamfara, ‘the abolished law also affects ex-speakers of the House of Assembly and their deputies’.

This unexpected development came as a result of the leaked letter of the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari, some days ago. In the letter, which Yari addressed to the state government, he was requesting for his N10 Million ‘monthly upkeep’, which had not been paid for some months.

Yusuf Idris, the media aide to the governor of the state, Governor Bello Matawalle, confirmed that Mr Yari had written the request, and had also sent another letter of reminder demanding the payment.

This caused the States’ House of Assembly to abolish the law that authorizes the payment of pensions to these categories of former officials. The House Leader Faruk Dosara (PDP Madadun) presented the bill before the house, and urged his colleagues to consider the ‘complete repeal’ of the law “which provides the jamboree payment for the former political leaders of the state at the detriment of the retired civil servants, who were still being owed their entitlements for years.”

Faruk stated that these categories of past leaders “are collecting over N700 Million annually” and it was no longer sustainable because of the present harsh economy. Tukur Birnin-Tudu, a PDP member, representing Bakura LG seconded the motion, stating that the law needed to be abolished.

Surprisingly, the bill was expedited, as the Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasiru Magarya, pushed the process; which made the bill to pass the first and second readings. The House then set up a committee for the bill, and the bill eventually went for the third reading and scaled through.

Jafaru, the spokesman of the House of Assembly, told the media that the bill was presently with the governor of the state for his assent.

“With this development, all past political leaders in Zamfara will longer enjoy any entitlements unless those prescribed by the national revenue mobilization allocation and fiscal commission,” Jafaru said.

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