Delegates at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja have resolved as part of their decisions that state and federal lawmakers should operate on part-time basis as against the current system where they work full-time so as to reduce cost of governance.
The decision was got the approval of majority of delegates yesterday based on a recommendation by the Standing Committee on Public Service chaired by a former Head of Service of the Federation, Engr. Ebele Okeke, after a long debate.
Also, in what looks like a laudable decision, the conference at plenary agreed that payment of pension, life insurance and other severance packages for political office holders like former governors, their deputies and ex-legislators, where such are in practice, should be ceased in line with global best practices.
The committee also requested the conference to adopt its suggestion that henceforth, no political appointee, from ministers to commissioners and local government chairmen, should employ special advisers, special assistants, and personal assistants or make any such appointments under whatever guise in order to further control the cost and size of government, which is already over-bloated.
The committee recommended that instead, such political office holders should utilize the staff of their ministries of posting where it becomes necessary, as contained in Circular Reference Number B63833/73 of January 3, 2000.
Meanwhile, the activities of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was put on the front burner with the aim to extend its benefits to the grassroots level.
Consequently, delegates resolved and adopted that each state of the federation should establish its own State Character Commission (SCC) to protect the interests of minority ethnic groups in the state.
The conference explained that its position is meant to address the obvious restrictions to the application of the Federal Character Principles at the state and local government levels of the country.