On November 10, 2020, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced his intention to abolish the payment of jumbo pensions to former governors and deputies of the state.
Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, Akinwumi Ambode, and the incumbent Sanwo-Olu would be affected by the plan if the Payment of Pension Law 2007 in Lagos is abolished.
Sanwo-Olu stated this while presenting the 2021 budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly.
He said the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies would be repealed.
In December 2019, Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural Association (YYSA) worldwide urged the Houses of Assembly in Nigeria to abolish the law which made former governors and their deputies receive hundreds of millions annually as pensions.
Payment of Pension Law in Lagos
Tinubu isn’t the only beneficiary of the pension, his successors enjoy the same benefits.
Some of the former governors of the commercial state are: APC Leader and an ex-governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (1999-2007); Mr Babatunde Fashola (2007-2015); Mr Akinwunmi Ambode (2015-2019)
According to the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law No 11 Official Gazette of 2007 which was signed into law by Tinubu before leaving office, here are the benefits of a former governor in Lagos:
- A house each in preferred locations in Lagos and Abuja.
- 6 new cars every three years,
- 100 per cent of the basic salary of the incumbent governor (N7.7million per annum),
- Free health care for the beneficiary and family members.
- Furniture allowance – 300 percent of annual basic salary (N23.3million);
- House maintenance allowance – 10 percent of annual basic salary (N778,296);
- Utility allowance – 20 percent of annual basic salary (N1.5million),
- Car maintenance allowance – 30 percent of the annual basic salary (N2.3million).
- Entertainment allowance, 10 percent of the annual basic salary (N778,296);
- Personal assistant who will earn 25 percent of the governor’s annual basic salary (N1.9million).
- Eight policemen
- Two Department of State Services (DSS) operatives for life.
Section 2 reads:
“One residential house each for the governor and the deputy governor at any location of their choice in Lagos State and one residential house in the Federal Capital Territory for the governor on two consecutive terms.”
Zamfara was the first to abolish such a law since 2019
Sanwo-Olu isn’t the first state governor to make such an announcement, Zamfara state governor was the first since 2019 to abolish the law paying pensions to ex-governors.
In November 2019 shortly after Governor Bello Matawalle assumed office, he sent a bill to the Zamfara House of Assembly to abolish a law that allowed the payment of pension and other allowances for state’s former governors and their deputies.
The development came days after a former governor, Abdul’aziz Yari, requested his N10 million ‘monthly upkeep’, which he said had not been paid for some months.
Imo State governor Hope Uzodinma has also signed a similar bill into law abolishing payment of pension to former governors and deputies in the state.
For Lagos, it’s still an intention at the time of this report.
Will it scale through the hurdle of the Lagos House of Assembly if the bill is sent to the house of assembly?