Shouldn’t Our Past Leaders Be Paid Pensions? After all, They Also “Served” the Country

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Civil Servants often have to protest before they are paid. But “retired” political office holders never have their pension delayed

As it is at the moment, former leaders at both the federal and state levels enjoy staggering sum of money and other perks as pension benefits annually, but some Nigerians believe that there is something seriously wrong with this system. What do you think?

For someone like Professor Itse Sagay, a legal expert, it is anomaly for the government to spend such amount on people who had no financial problems. In his words, “It is one of the greatest anomalies of Nigeria… [In] these past leaders are people who are already very rich. These are people who had access to our resources. Many of them and their families have no financial problems. It is, therefore, ironic that the government prefers to spend billions on these privileged few, while over 70 per cent of Nigerians are living below one dollar per day.”

However, some others do not share the opinion of Prof. Sagay. Former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, believes that there is nothing wrong with payment of pension to ex-presidents and governors. In his view, not only should pension be paid to former leaders at the state and federal levels, it must also be very attractive. In his words, “The salaries and pension should be attractive, so that they should not be tempted.”

However, when compared to the retirement package of some civil servants who served the country for over thirty years, the figures are really staggering. It was alleged that, at the twilight of his administration, immediate past governor of Gombe state, Senator Danjuma Goje, had reportedly paid himself and his deputy the sum of N300m as executive pension benefits. And other examples abound. And remember, these packages cannot be touched by the thieving hands of the pension fraudsters!

Culled from The Sun

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