After massive outcry by members of the public, notably citizens of the state, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, was forced to backtrack on a scandalous multibillion pension plan for himself and other former governors of the state.
Hours after, delegates at the ongoing National Conference agreed and thus proposed that governors and their deputies should no longer be entitled to pension and severance pay when they leave office.
We all know that whatever Confab proposes will still be subjected to the decision of the national assembly. But before it all die down, let’s quickly see how Bola Tinubu, Bukola Saraki, Peter Odili and others are milking their states to the bone every year through the selfish pension law.
The Lagos pension law was the last bill Bola Tinubu signed as Lagos state governor. Through this, Tinubu successfully cornered for himself and his former leaders of the state pension for life, two houses – one in Lagos and another in Abuja. The Lagos law also gives the governor six cars replaceable every three years( 3 for the governor, 1 pilot, 2 backup cars), furniture of 300% of his salary as governor to be paid every two years, a security detail same as in Kwara state, free medicals for the former governor and deputies and their immediate families.
Other benefits are 10% house maintenance, 30% car maintenance, 10% entertainment, 20% utility, and several domestic staff. In a nutshell, the APC Chieftain currently gets close to N700 million from Lagos State every year.
The Kwara pension law was first passed in 2003 and approved by former governor, Mohammed Lawal. The Lawal law merely stipulated that qualified former governors and their deputies be paid pension for life, without other perks like accommodation, cars and other perks.
The law was reviewed in 2010 by Bukola Saraki, a former governor of the state and a serving senator, who, with the support of the state House of Assembly imposed outrageous raises on all the benefits.
The 2010 law gives a former governor two cars and a security car, replaceable every three years. The governor is also entitled to a “well-furnished 5-bedroom duplex”, furniture allowance of 300% of his salary (which totals over N6 million).
The law also gives the governor five personal staff paid for by the state, eight policemen, three SSS operatives(of which one must be a female), free medicals for the governor and the deputy.
Other entitlements are 30% of salary for car maintenance, 20% for utility, 10% for entertainment, 10% for house maintenance.
As a senator, Mr. Saraki is currently drawing a monthly salary and a quarterly allowance of at least N40 million.
The Rivers pension law was first approved in 2003 by former governor, Peter Odili, having been passed by a state assembly headed by the present governor, Chibuike Amaechi.
Mr. Odili was accused of massive corruption, but somehow evaded justice after obtaining a controversial “perpetual injunction”.
The 2003 pension law provides pension for life for governors and deputies, defining “pension” as embodying annual terminal basic salary, annual transport allowance, annual rent subsidy, annual utility allowance, entertainment allowance, domestic staff of not more than four.
In 2012, Mr. Amaechi, having taken over as governor, signed an amendment of that law, specifying benefits for former governors and himself when he leaves office.
Like Lagos, the new law gives the former governor a house in Rivers State and anywhere in Nigeria. The former governor is also entitled to pension for life at the rate of the governor’s basic salary, 300% of salary for furniture paid every four years, three cars every four years, free medical, and 10% for house maintenance.
The law gives the former governor a security detail comprising two SSS operatives, four police officers, 30% for car maintenance, 10% entertainment, 20% utility and several domestic staff.
The Zamfara version of the law was signed in 2006 by Ahmed Sani, now a senator.
The law gives Mr. Sani and other former Zamfara governors pension for life, two personal staff, two vehicles replaceable every four years, two drivers, free medical for the former governors and deputies and their immediate families in Nigeria or abroad.
The law also gives the former governors a 4-bedroom house in Zamfara and an office, free telephone and 30 days paid vacation outside Nigeria.
The Gombe version of the law ranks close Zamfara’s.
The significant difference is that the law states explicitly that the former governor or deputy has the right to be paid in lieu of benefits such as a house, vehicles and others.
The former governors are given pension for life, two vehicles changed in four years, two drivers, free medicals in Nigeria and abroad, a house anywhere in Gombe.
Another scandalous provision here, as with the Akwa Ibom law, is the provision of estacode for the governor and his wife for 30 days of annual vacation abroad. The former chief executive is also given free telephone and internet services for life. Meaning that, each past governors of the state currently get about N300 million from the state annually.