Politics: Exemption of HoS, Federal Perm Secs’ CPS illegal, says expert Daily Parrot

The Director, Centre for Pension Right Advocacy, Ivor Takor, has faulted the salary-for-life approved for the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS)  and Permanent Secretaries (Perm Secs).

Takor said the HOS and Perm Secs were exempted from the CPS based on the advice of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) that these senior civil servants are not covered by the PRA 2014 as they are not ‘employees’, but ‘appointees’ of the President based on the Section 171 of the 1999 Constitution.

He pointed out that based on a legal opinion, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the exemption of the HOS and Perm Secs from the CPS, placing them under ‘salary for life’ on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) where active workers are paid salaries.

He stated that by exempting them from PRA 2014, leaving them with no law governing their pensions,  is contrary to Section 173 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said: “Thus, regulating their pensions by administrative instrument as it has been done is unconstitutional. Indeed, the Supreme Court had decided in the case of SARAKI V. FGN (2016) LPELR-SC.852/2015 that no circular or other administrative instrument can supersede the constitution or statutes enacted by the National Assembly.

“Placing these categories of civil servants on the IPPIS Platform shows that they have no pensions, but “salary for life”. IPPIS policy is a policy implemented to ensure prompt and accurate payment of salaries of active public servants. It was not conceived as a platform for the payment of (salaries for life) pension. Section 173(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides for pension and not salary after retirement.

“The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Federal Permanent Secretaries by seeking and getting exemption from the CPS have exhibited moral bankruptcy. They are responsible for the implementation of Federal Government policies. They all keyed into the CPS with their other colleagues in the civil service but unfortunately, when they found themselves in privileged positions in the service they manipulated the system and got exemption.”

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