Saraki asks Kwara State to stop paying him pension in response to growing criticism

SENATE president Dr Bukola Saraki has stopped collecting pension from Kwara State as a former governor as part of his contribution to addressing the current menace of the cost of governance being too high.


Nigerian legislators are among the highest paid in the world and a lot of members of the National Assembly like senator Saraki are former governors, who receive pensions on top of their hefty salaries. Last year, Nigeria's Now, National Assembly had a budget with added up to N120bn (£263m) with senators and members of the House of Representatives receiving mouth-watering bonuses.


Yesterday, Senator Saraki revealed that he had written a letter to the Kwara State government to stop the payment of his pension. He added that he made the move in response to complaints from some quarters that former governors, who are currently senators or ministers, were receiving pensions on top of salaries in their new jobs, all from the government.


Civil society organisation the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, had accused the former governors of receiving double pay from government, adding that it was illegal. According to Senator Saraki, it was n response to this that he decided to stop being paid from two sources.


Senator Saraki added: "The moment I saw that allegation, I wrote to my state to stop my pension. So, I speak for myself on that part, I am not receiving pension from my state,."


“I think I will leave everybody to their individual decision. Morally, if you have got another job, you should give it up until when you are truly a pensioner."


He stressed that some of these oversights are not addressing the issues. Senator Saraki said what the states should do is to go and amend their laws to say that if you have another appointment then you are not entitled to a pension.