FROM ISAAC ANUMIHE, ABUJA
Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said that only the Nigerian president, his vice and state governors are entitled to pension for life provided they were not impeached in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
With this, the commission dissociated itself from the contentious issues of pension for political officeholders, saying that it was outside its purview.
It is wrong and misleading, to add up allowances irrespective of whether they are regular, refundable or non-regular, as the regular annual emoluments of Political and Public Office Holders.
“The pension for Mr. President and the Vice President as provided in Section (84)(5) of the 1999 Constitution states that, Any person who has held office as President or Vice-President shall be entitled to pension for life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbent President or Vice-President: Provided that such a person was not removed from office by the process of impeachment or for breach of any provisions of this Constitution, while any pension granted by virtue of subsection (5) of this section shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.
“In the same vein, Section (124) (5) stipulates that, provisions may be made by a Law of a House of Assembly for the grant of a pension or gratuity to or in respect of a person who had held office as Governor or Deputy Governor and was not removed from office as a result of impeachment; and any pension granted by virtue of any provisions made in pursuance of this subsection shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State..
“From the foregoing therefore, it is crystal clear that the Commission is not constitutionally empowered to delve into matters of pension for Political Public and Judicial Office Holders as wrongly imputed in the said reports.
The Commission equally noted a general tendency on the part of some commentators to mischievously lump all allowances and salaries together as monthly salary. It is therefore apt for the Commission to correct this erroneous and misleading computation.
It should be noted that the Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders Salaries and Allowances etc, (Amendment) Act of 2008 states the actual amount being paid to legislators and other public officers. The Act provides for both regular and non-regular allowances.
The non-regular allowances include, Severance/Gratuity paid only once after the successful completion of tenure, Furniture Allowance paid once every four years, Accommodation where not provided paid annually, and Motor Vehicle Loan (optional) is repayable before the expiration of tenure.
It is, therefore, wrong and misleading to add up allowances irrespective of whether they are regular, refundable or non-regular, as the regular annual emoluments of Political and Public Office Holders.
Source : SunOnline