Above is Governor Aminu Tambuwa and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ forum, while below is Minister Festus Keyamo [SAN]
I did promise while on air this morning that l would be uploading facts of the jumbo and unjustifiable severance packages [allowances] Nigerian departing State’s Governors – for those that finished their two-tenure, or those that were voted out, arranged for themselves, through their States’ legislated laws.
Below, fully itemised, by names of the States involved and their Governors, is fulfilment of the promise. There shall be addition uploading of same atrocities, committed by governors that started this Fourth Republic, on Friday, April 28, 2023. Watch out for the next upload!
Many Nigerians have lost any hope of receiving their pensions after retirement from civil service.
Indeed, in Benue State, no one has received gratuity in the 8 years of Samuel Ortom as governor. Yet Ortom is planning a huge opulent and scandalous pension for himself, given how parsimoniously he had treated Benue civil servants.
A Nigerian lawyer from Benue State, Barr. Terhemen Oscar Aorabee-Gagajav, recently raised the alarm over the life pension bill proposed by government in Benue State for former governors and deputy governors.
Aorabee-Gagajav described the proposed life pension bill as outrageous and ridiculous. He urged the Benue State Assembly not to pass the bill into law. The bill must not be passed into law, he said.
His opinion is that if passed into law, its huge pensions will not only cripple the economy of the State but will impoverish workers and citizens of the state.
Calling the bill, a pension scam, Aorabee-Gagajav said the bill titled; ‘A Bill for a Law to make Provisions for the Maintenance of Former Governors of the State and their Deputies and for Other Matters Connected Thereto’, has been presented to the Benue State House of Assembly by the outgoing governor.
The bill is planned to be retroactive, to take effect from 1999 so that it will cover former governors and their deputies; including Senator George Akume and the late Ogiri Ajene; Senator Gabriel Suswam and Steven Lawani; Dr. Samuel Ortom and Engr. Benson Abounu.
Details of the bill showed that it makes provision for payment to former governors and their deputies of a monthly ‘stipend’ equivalent to the ‘the salary’ of an incumbent governor or deputy. Imagine.
The provisions of this bill include provision and maintenance of a permanent residential accommodation for every former governor and his deputy in any town ‘of their choice’ in Nigeria.
The former governors are also to get 4 new cars every 4 years while the former deputy governors will get 2 new cars every 4 years. The cars shall be serviced and maintained at the expense of the State.
In Delta, Okowa, the governor of Delta State is also allegedly waiting to start drawing an outrageous pension package as soon as he leaves office in a few weeks hence. Though some officials of Delta State government said last week that the Governor did not sign such bill into law. Waiting to see becomes the name of the game, ipso facto.
Based on the 2005 Pension Law, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa would enjoy generous retirement goodies courtesy of the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and other Benefits Law of 2005 signed by former governor James Ibori. It makes provision for ex-governors to be paid allowances and other benefits pegged at N50million yearly. The listed benefits include; A furnished duplex in Delta State or any other state in the country worth over N300 million; 350% gratuity of his basic salary for the first tenure; Gratuity of 450% of his basic salary for second tenure; Pension of 70% salary of first term; Pension of 80% salary of second term; Medical treatment for him and members of his immediate family; Two vehicles, including a utility vehicle, not below the sum of N20 million each, every two years; Two armed policemen and one Department of State Security official; 15 days’ annual vacation in any place of his choice and other benefits; An office with four aides, each of the four domestic workers will earn N100,000 monthly.
In Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike and his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, will enjoy generous benefits after leaving office as provided in the Rivers State Pensions for Governor and Deputy Governor Law, 2012. The law provides that three new vehicles should be purchased for former governors, and the vehicles are to be changed every four years. This is in addition to the payment of 100 per cent of their basic salaries, 300 per cent of their annual basic salary for furniture, free medical services, and provision for entertainment. Their deputies also enjoy certain perks.
In Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel and his deputy are expected to enjoy the benefits contained in the State’s Pension Act of 2014. Under the Act they are also entitled to the replacement of official and utility vehicles every four years.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje who obviously is not a happy man since he could not plant his successor at Kano Government House and his deputy who is also his preferred candidate, can be rest assured that they are retiring well even when most of the people of Kano are wallowing in poverty. The duo is entitled to 100 per cent of their basic salaries, six-bedroom house and free medical treatment for them and members of their families.
The Jigawa State governor; Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, will be entitled to a monthly pension equivalent to the salary of the current governor, two brand new vehicles to be provided by the state government and to be replaced after every four year, six-bedroom fully furnished house, two personal assistants not below grade level 10, two drivers selected by the governor and to be paid by the state, a fully furnished office in any location of choice and fully paid medical treatment within Nigeria and abroad. The deputy governor is also to get a monthly pension equivalent to the incumbent’s salary, one assistant not below level 8, one brand new vehicle, four-bedroom flat and an office in a location of his choice.
In Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal is to get N200m every four years, while his deputy is entitled to perks amounting to N180m, being monetisation for other entitlements, including domestic aides, residences and vehicles that can be renewed after every four years, among others.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu may have failed to retire into the Senate following his defeat at the last senatorial election, but as a former governor he is entitled to 100 per cent of his salary and official vehicles worth N20million to be replaced every four years, a police orderly, two operatives of the Department of State Service, two policemen for the security of his house, as well as allowances for cooks, stewards, driver and gardener, while his deputy will enjoy similar benefits. The law also made provision for medical attention for the former governors and their deputies.
Retirees Decry Late Payment Of Pensions
Given the above scandalous pension packages that governors packaged for themselves in a country that is the poverty capital of the world, what further evidence do we need to show that corruption and greed are killing Nigeria politically, economically and socially.
You ask yourself what is the pension package for teachers, doctors, nurses, lecturers, judges, and administrators who served their states for 35 years of service to warrant such pensions for governors who served for four or eight years maximum? Evenmmn Governor Ortom, who said that Benue needs N40billion to clear salary arrears, wants to ‘flex’ after leaving office.
Shouldn’t the Nigerian people rise up in unity to stop this rascality?
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND PROPERTIES ABROAD
Recently, the news has been awash with brickbats between the Nigerian Minister of Labour and Productivity; Festus Keyamo [SAN] and denizens of social media over his United States of America’s acquired properties. Defending himself, the minister said the “proceeds of his booming legal practice”. He said this following angry reactions to a recent online video clip showing him in a nice house in a nice American neighbourhood.
The video attracted criticisms, with many questioning the source of the funds with which he bought the property. Many of the critics deplored it saying that it is the usual practice of Nigerian public officers who love to own houses abroad where security and clean environment is guaranteed.
Keyamo, in another tweet, said he posted the video as bait to his critics, whom he described as “folks of low moral standards,” that would jeer him. “Two days ago, I decided to bait the horde of sore losers at the last elections with a video of my vacation in ONE OF MY PROPERTIES abroad as I did a light workout. Expectedly, they fell so terribly for the bait,” he wrote.
Does the above quoted statement of his make any reasonable sense to any living anywhere on the globe? Yet, he went more loquaciously by saying that he acquired several assets, including the one shown in the video, with proceeds of his legal practice and wise investments in real estate of over 30 years.
This man – Festus Keyamo [SAN], and all the governors enumerated above, typically, are the embodiment of what we have as political leaders for our country. Do any one of us still wonders why ours is such an unfortunate country?
Godwin Etakibuebu; a Veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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