By Austin Ogwuda, Enugu
A human rights group, known as the Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged, (Centrep) has commended the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) for moving against pension for former governors, noting that the move if successfully achieved would help to reduce what he described as “prohibitive cost of governance” in this country.

Executive Director of the group, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi also suggested that the new crop of legislators to be inaugurated in the new political dispensation come May 29 2015 should repeal the appropriate laws empowering the doling out of such public funds to the former governors.

He told Vanguard that “sincerely speaking General Muhammadu Buhari’s move against pension for ex-governors is highly commendable.

This is because if we want to rank amongst the developed nations of the world come 2020, then, we must jettison the prohibitive cost of governance nationwide and that includes expenditures like pension for ex-governors constituency allowance for federal and state legislators and security votes for Executive operators of Government.

“Today”, he went on, “we remain an underdeveloped nation because the cost of governance, our wage bills and recurrent expenditures, hence my call for the urgent restructuring of the nation along regional lines.

“However, since many ex-governors are currently receiving their pensions under relevant statues passed by their State Assemblies, the Federal Government should encourage legislators-elect to repeal these State laws as soon as they are inaugurated by their governors, period”.

Also, President of the Civil Rights Realization and Advancement Network, Mr. Olu Omotayo while speaking in the same vein, said, “it is a good move because most of the ex-governors were indicted for corrupt practices but not prosecuted by EFCC. It is an anomaly for these type of public officials to be receiving pension after leaving office.

“The respective State Assemblies were in error to have made such laws without considering relevant laws like the Pension Fund Act and other Acts.

And it should be noted that it is only under our democracy State executives are given large money as security to which they are not accountable to the legislature or anybody whatsoever. So it is a right step towards ensuring good governance and accountability”, he added.

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