By Naomi Sharang
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Amos Ojo, on Friday pledged to ensure that Clerks of Nigerian Legislatures enjoyed ‘terminal benefits’ as being enjoyed by Permanent Secretaries.
Ojo said this would be achieved through canvassing an amendment to the Pension Act.
He made the pledge at the meeting of the Forum of Clerks of Nigeria Legislatures (FOCON) held in Abuja.
The Clerk, who raised the concern on the non-inclusion of members of FOCON to benefit from the ‘terminal benefits’ said that he would do everything possible to ensure their inclusion.
“The Pension Act does not make provision for ‘terminal benefits’ for Clerks of Nigerian Legislatures as it is being enjoyed by permanent secretaries and head of the service in the executive arm of government.
“Who says that there is no absolute need for us to make a case of urgent amendment, of the Pension Act to accommodate FOCON members?
“It is a fact that some states in the federation have put in place a policy of paying their ‘retired Clerks’ full salary for life, as it is being enjoyed by some permanent secretaries in the executive arm of government.
“Therefore, we must be reminded on the need for us to use this gathering, to urge states that have not started this policy to do so without delay,” he said.
Ojo urged the participants, who are clerks to the 36 state houses of assembly to see themselves as critical engines that must constantly oil the huge machine of legislative business in the country.
“In this regard, we must not only sit up but must put on our thinking caps, to scientifically exploit the gains of the recently passed financial autonomy to advance our democratic representation across the board in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the Chairperson of Clerk to State Houses of Assembly, Mrs Lyna Ocholor, reiterated calls for an amendment to the Act to make clerks to state houses of assembly to be at par with permanent secretaries in the executive in terms of ‘life salaries’.
Ocholor, who is also the Clerk Delta State House of Assembly, noted that the Pension Act amendment was key to enjoying life after retirement.
“When you retire what happens? We want this meeting to be often to help,” she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)