SERAP tells Dickson to reject life pension for Bayelsa lawmakers

SERAP said the bill seeking a life pension for lawmakers in Bayelsa is an abuse of legislative function.

Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson urged to reject life pension for the state's lawmakers. (Saharareporters)

On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, Bayelsa State House of Assembly approved monthly life pensions for all present and past members of the legislature.

The controversial bill was sponsored by the leader of the House, Peter Akpe.

However, a release signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said the bill is an abuse of legislative function.

The release states, “The bill amounts to an incorrect and improper performance of public functions. It’s clearly an abuse of legislative functions by the lawmakers.

“Rather than sponsoring bills that would improve access of children in Bayelsa to quality education, the lawmakers are taking advantage of their entrusted public positions to propose a bill to collect large severance benefits.

“It is estimated that hundreds of lawmakers will benefit from the life pension as proposed, which will invariably cost Bayelsa State at least N20m taxpayers’ money monthly. This amount will increase in subsequent years.”

SERAP in the statement noted that the action by the Bayelsan lawmakers is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the object and purpose of the UN Convention against Corruption, to which Nigeria is a state party.

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