MIXED reactions have continued to trail the proposal of the Senate that the leaders of the federal legislature should be entitled to life pension. Many Nigerians are of the opinion that the proposal is not people-oriented. Below are the positions of some Nigerians on the issue.
Amarachi Nwobodo, Teacher: This pension proposal shows that we need leaders who are selfless and prepared to sacrifice for the country. We need leaders who will put the Nigerian people first. We need leaders who can give us 24 hours of electricity, build super highways, link the whole county by modern railways etc. We need leaders like Nelson Mandela of South Africa. We need nation builders who can move Nigeria from 3rd to 1st world in 10 years and not those seeking to secure life pension.
Titus Ugwuoke, Administrator: It is not possible for you to work for four years or eight years and be asking for life pension. It will not do a country like Nigeria any good because our economy is not strong enough for such venture. They should remember that there is hunger in the land and people are living far below poverty line in this country.
Juliet Okonkwo, Banker: The life pension for leaders of the legislature is counter-productive and would have a serious setback on the country’s economy if not addressed immediately. If the National Assembly members are asking for life pension, what will be the fate of a common man on the street?
Donatus Ofili, Public Servant: It’s really annoying that the Senate is only interested in what benefits its members. Nigeria is a country where a graduate working so hard is being paid as little as N400,000 annually and a senator who does nothing in the house rather than to shout aye and nay gets N30million annually. If care is not taken by the time the Senate leaders succeed, the members will also demand for pension.
Divine Ogochukwu, Accountant: With what is happening, this seventh assembly is going to be another wasteful legislative session. The members have not passed any significant legislation since their election in 2011. All they have been doing is to waste their time amending a constitution which most of them have never actually read. This whole exercise, if allowed to stand, would in the aftermath continue to affect the wellbeing of many.
Peter Eze, Politician: Since the Senate voting on the constitution amendment, I have been wondering why the leaders should be entitled to pension. How long have they worked to deserve pension? If you work in the civil service for a certain number of years, then you are entitled to pension. How do you now compare the kind of payment the Senate leaders get with that of the civil servants?
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Aug. 12, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT