Despite outcry, Bayelsa lawmakers insist on pension

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Despite public outcry, the Bayelsa State House of Assembly insisted on Wednesday that it would engage the services of an insurance firm to ensure pension for members of the 6th Assembly in the state.
The Speaker, Mr Tonye Isenah, made the disclosure in Yenagoa during a courtesy visit by the state’s chapter of Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union Journalists (NUJ).
He explained that the pension bill passed by the 5th assembly for lawmakers failed because no public hearing was held before it was passed.
The 5th Assembly passed a bill for lifetime pension for lawmakers which was eventually denied assent by Governor Seriake Dickson because of opposition from members of the public.
Isenah said the new leadership of the assembly “is poised to reposition the state legislature because there is a new paradigm shift in the system”.
“We will do the pension bill differently this time, we are going to work with an insurance firm, because the legislators have to plan their retirement.
“Let the insurance company use it to do business and let’s get the profit and take it back, so that at the end of our tenure, we will get something apart from the severance package.
“The insurance company will now be paying us a particular amount for a certain period. I think we can work on that one.
“Our last pension bill failed, perhaps because the people were not carried along as there was no public hearing to properly enlighten the masses on the pros and cons of the bill.
“All bills in this new legislature must pass through public hearing stage,” he stated.
The 5th Assembly bill had proposed N500,000 monthly pension for the Speaker; N200, 000 for the Deputy Speaker, and N100, 000 for each for the 24 members of the Assembly.

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