HURIWA condemns Governors’ proposal to sack civil servants above 50 years

HURIWA condemns Governors' proposal to sack civil servants above 50 years

 

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has condemned the reported proposal to President Muhammadu Buhari by the governors of the 36 states to downsize federal personnel over the age of 50 as a breach of the Constitution.

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HURIWA claimed that the action contravenes section 42 subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution because it discriminates against a certain age group while also violating current civil service regulations that set the retirement age at 60.

According to HURIWA, what could cause the impending collapse of Nigeria’s economy is the pervasive political corruption among those in public office, such as governors and the Presidency, who carve out a sizable portion of financial resources that are not included in the budget and steal the money under the guise of security votes.

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The rights group, said the excessive operating costs of the executive branches of the two tiers of government—federal and state—in particular are the draining pipes that risk causing the complete collapse of the country’s economy.

It suggested that instead, the executive arm of government at both the state and federal governments should drastically cut down on the costs of governance including amending constitutional provisions on the appointment of ministers and commissioners to peg the number of each category at 6 for ministers representing the 6 geopolitical zones for the federal government and three commissioners per state representing the three Senatorial zones of each state.

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HURIWA also advised that special advisers be reduced to two for each tier of federal and state government.

In addition, HURIWA argued that the legislation should be changed to exclude Nigerian citizens over 50 from running for governor or president positions due to the risk that those over 50 may face age-related health issues that go undiagnosed and drain both state and federal resources.

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HURIWA maintained that the cost of running a single office of governor or president or even commissioner by far outstrips the salaries of 100 civil servants.

The rights group further said that if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and ICPC are to function independently and block leakages of the revenues of governments at both the State and federal governments then there will be enough resources to build and maintain infrastructure.

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HURIWA claimed that the Nigerian governors encouraged the federal government to retire all federal civil officials above the age of 50 in order to prevent the country from impending economic catastrophe, calling the suggestion as a celebration of administrative folly.

According to popular accounts, the governors made the idea during a meeting with President Buhari in July.

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The proposal also encouraged the government to begin implementing the updated Stephen Oronsaye Report, which advocated for the merger and closure of agencies and parastatals with redundant or contested roles in order to improve bureaucratic inefficiency and lower the cost of governance.

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