Former governors and deputies including Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode, may no longer enjoy pensions if plans to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007) sail through.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gave the hint on Tuesday when he announced his intention to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former elected governors and their deputies.
The governor made this known on Tuesday while presenting the 2021 budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly.
He said the bill for that purpose would be sent to the state assembly.
“Mr. Speaker and Honourable members of the house, in the light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies,” Sanwo-Olu said.
According to the Lagos Pension Law approved by former Governor Bola Tinubu in 2007, a former governor will enjoy the following benefits for life: Two houses, one in Lagos and another in Abuja; even as property experts estimate such a house in Lagos to cost about N500 million and that in Abuja to cost about N700 million.
Other entitlements include: Six brand new cars, replaceable every three years; furniture allowance of 300 per cent of annual salary to be paid every two years; and a pension of N2.5 million monthly amounting to about N30 million pension annually.
The former governor will also enjoy security details, free medicals including for his immediate families.
Other benefits are house maintenance worth 10 per cent of his annual pension; 30 per cent car maintenance; 10 per cent entertainment; 20 per cent utility, and several domestic staff.
Should the new arrangement succeed in Lagos, it would only be following a similar step taken by the Kwara State in 2018 when the state House of Assembly passed an amendment bill halting payment of pensions to former governors, deputy governors, and other political office holders after their tenure.
Former governors and their deputies from almost in all the 36 states of the federation enjoy similar jumbo pay.
A recent report by Blueprint newspaper catalogues a number of states where such largesse in the name of pensions for political office holders after leaving office is ‘legitimised’.
For instance, the report states in Rivers State, the law provides 100 per cent of annual basic salary for ex-governor and deputy; one residential house for former governor to be located anywhere of his choice in Nigeria; one residential house anywhere in Rivers state for the deputy; three cars for the ex-governor every four years; and two cars for the deputy every four years.
Furniture allowance for the governor is 300 per cent of annual basic salary every four years en bloc; as well as 10 per cent as house maintenance allowance.
In Akwa Ibom, the law provides for N200 million annual pension to ex governors and deputies. They enjoy a pension, for life, equivalent to the salary of the incumbent governor and deputy governor respectively.
Similarly, they are entitled to new official car and utility vehicle every four years; one personal aide and provision of adequate security; a cook; chauffeurs and security guards for the governor at a sum not exceeding N5 million per month and N2.5 million for the deputy governor.
There is also free medical service for governor and his spouse at an amount not exceeding N100 million for the governor per annum and N50 million for the deputy governor.
Also, there is a five-bedroom mansion in Abuja and Akwa Ibom and allowance of 300 per cent of annual basic salary for the deputy governor.
The ex-governor also takes a furniture allowance of 300 per cent of annual basic salary every four years in addition to severance gratuity.
The Kano State Pension Rights of Governor and Deputy Governor Law 2007 provides for 100 per cent of annual basic salaries for former governors and their deputies, with a furnished office as well as a six-bedroom house, ‘well-furnished’ four-bedroom for deputy, plus an office.
The former governor is also entitled to free medical service along with his immediate families within and outside Nigeria where necessary. It is same for deputy.
Two drivers are also part of the former governor’s entitlement and a driver for his deputy; and personal staff below the rank of a Principal Administrative Officer and a PA not below grade level 10. There is a provision for a 30-day vacation within and outside Nigeria.
In Gombe, there is N300 million executive pension benefits for the ex-governor.
The Zamfara version of the law, signed in 2006, gives former governors pension for life; two personal staff; two vehicles replaceable every four years; two drivers; free medicals for the former governors and deputies as well as their immediate families in Nigeria or abroad.
The law also gives the former governors a four-bedroom house in Zamfara and an office, free telephone and 30 days paid vacation outside Nigeria.
In Sokoto, former governors and deputy governors are to receive N200 million and N180 million respectively, being monetisation for other entitlements which include domestic aides; residence and vehicles; that could be renewed after every four years.
Section 2 (2) of the Sokoto State Grant of Pension, Governor and Deputy Governor, Law, 2013, states that “the total annual pension to be paid to the governor and deputy governor, shall be at a rate equivalent to the annual total salary of the incumbent governor or deputy governor of the state respectively.”
State governors responsible for rising poverty, not FG, says minister
The Federal Government has blamed state governors for the rising rate of poverty in the country.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, gave this position at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting.
He said the governors prioritised the construction of heavy infrastructure such as bridges and airports in cities rather than improving the lives of the rural poor.
According to him, about 72 per cent of Nigeria’s poor live in neglected rural communities.
Agba said the governors had abandoned the critical demography, preferring to spend state resources on the capital cities instead.
He said, “The governors are basically functioning in their state capitals. And democracy that we preach about is delivering the greatest goods to the greatest number of people. And from our demography, it shows that the greatest number of our people live in rural areas, but the governors are not working in the rural areas.
“Right now, 70 per cent of our people live in rural areas. They produce 90 per cent of what we eat. And unfortunately 60 per cent of what they produce is lost due to post harvest loss and it does not get to the market.
“I think from the Federal Government’s side, we are doing our best. But we need to say that rather than governors continuing to compete to take loans to build airports that are not necessary, where they have other airports so close to them, or governors now competing to build flyovers all over the place, we appeal that they should concentrate on building rural roads so that the farmers can at least get their products to the market.”
Citing the findings of a recent survey he conducted across the 109 senatorial districts nationwide, the minister said Sokoto State ranked the highest on the poverty scale, followed by the oil-rich state of Bayelsa.
“The result clearly show that 72 per cent of poverty is in the rural areas. It also showed clearly that Sokoto State is leading in poverty with 91 per cent.
“But the surprising thing is Bayelsa being the second in terms of poverty rating in the country. So, you see the issue is not about availability of money. But it has to do with the application of money,” he said.
Agba lamented that despite the Federal Government’s intervention to alleviate poverty, the results did not reflect the amount of investment made in the area.
He said, “In the course of working on the national development plan, we looked at previous plans and asked why they didn’t do as much as expected. We also looked at the issues of the National Social Investment Programme.
“At the federal level, the government is putting out so much money but not seeing so much reflection in terms of money that has been put into alleviating poverty, which is one of the reasons the government also put in place the national poverty reduction with growth strategy.
“But if the Federal Government puts the entire income that it earns into all of this without some form of complementarity from the state governments in playing their part, it will seem as if we are throwing money in the pond.”
JAC woos customers, slashes car prices in Yuletide promo
JAC Motors Nigeria has commenced a price slash special end-of-year promo for its numerous existing customers as well as potential customers across the country.
The company says it wants its customers to celebrate holidays and the festive season in a grand style through its latest sales promotion tagged, ‘JAC Motors End of Year Promo’.
It says in a statement that it will offer a discount of N1 million on any of the JAC models purchased during the promo period, which will run till the January 10, 2023.
This, according to the auto firm, is to enable the buyers to use the N1 million for other essential items needed for the family during the festive period.
Already, the auto firm says players in both the public and private sectors are already taking advantage of the promo to acquire quality vehicles this season and enjoy the mouth-watering discount.
It says, “Festive periods are synonymous with the act of giving. JAC Motors will, as part of the End of Year Promo, give its customers not just the N1 million discount on every car purchased but also ample value-added services that come with after-sale support to strengthen the durability and performances of all vehicles purchased. Now is your chance to drive your dream JAC car in this season of giving.”
Explaining why JAC Motors is offering the unique end-of-year promo, the Head of Brand and Marketing Communication of the company, Mr Franklyn Okotie, stated that the year had its fair share of challenges on everyone.
“There is no better way and time than now to thank all our customers who go the extra mile to make the JAC brand stronger and continually promote us. For this reason and more, we will always support and positively impact our customers as we steadfastly meet the vehicular and transportation needs in Nigeria.”
He advised that their existing and potential customers to log onto this website – https://jacnigeria.com/end-of-year-promo/ to get their dream car today, even as he promised that a JAC car would be a remarkable gift to a friend this season.
The firm said the JAC vehicles are of best quality, durable, beautifully designed with modern-day aesthetics, optimum performance and highly fuel efficient.
“JAC vehicles are tropicalized, made tough to withstand all the challenging terrains on Nigerian roads. Elizade Autoland offers JAC passenger cars, commercial vehicles and light duty trucks,” it added.
Kia offers football fans fun, prizes, drive in latest EV in Qatar
As the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup moves into the round of 16, high flying Korean automaker, Kia Motors, says it is providing more exciting moments for spectators in the Qatar stadiums where matches are being played.
The auto company is activating what it calls two must-see activations along with a host of exciting prizes for football fans visiting the match centres.
The activations will be hosted at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, and Khalifa International Stadium, where Kia’s latest generation EV6 GT, Sportage, K5, Telluride, K8, Sorento will all be on display, Kia says in a statement.
According to the firm, the first activation offers a thrilling simulator experience “where spectators can drive a Kia vehicle of their choice from the automaker’s latest line up.”
The second activation invites football fans to win big by participating in a football challenge, where successful participants can walk away with a Kia branded cap, towel or wristband.
It says, “Visitors can check out Kia’s spot at the FIFA Fan Festival™ zone, which is the perfect place to experience the World Cup, as it is the central destination where fans from all over the world can come together to share their love of football and celebrate the electrifying atmosphere of the global event.
“At the FIFA Fan Festival™, Kia’s Ground of Inspiration will offer audiences a chance to check out the Kia EV9 Concept, which embodies an adventurous and recreational form with its rugged and upright stance.
“Fitted with a solar panel built into the car bonnet and an interior made from sustainable materials, this electric car reimagines what an all-electric vehicle can be.”
It also says alongside the activations, the automaker will support 64 Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) across the tournament.
The statement says, “Children from about 20 different nations globally will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the official match ball to the pitch at the start of all matches.
“As a partner of the FIFA World Cup™, the automotive brand will support the operation of the world’s greatest sporting event by providing an official event vehicle fleet that will include Kia passenger cars to facilitate the safe and convenient mobility of players, referees, VIPs and staff, as well as Kia-branded buses specifically dedicated to transport national teams and referees.”
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