Lagos lawmakers introduce bill to give Speaker and Deputy extravagant life pension and lavish benefits

The Lagos State House of Assembly has introduced a bill seeking to provide lavish post-retirement benefits to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, with proposals for extravagant life pension, accommodation, security and medical cover for the two officials and their families.

The bill is seeking to amend the state’s Public Office Holder Law of 2007 which already provides those benefits to past governors and their deputies.

The existing law was pushed through by Ahmed Tinubu who was governor between 1999 and 2007.

The lawmakers now want to extend the largesse to themselves, and the amendment seeks to insert the words “and includes the Speaker (and) the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly” after “State” in the interpretation of “Public Office Holder”.

The move is coming as the All Progressives Congress, APC, the ruling party in the state, rallies widespread support as it seeks to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party at the federal level, with a pledge to drastically cut down the cost of governance.

According to the bill “A Law to Amend the Law to Provide For the Payment of Pensions and Other Benefits to Public Office Holders in Lagos State and For Connected Purposes,” a copy of which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the Speaker, as well as his Deputy, will be receiving 100 percent of their annual basic salary as pension.

The sum is to be reviewed every five years or when there is salary review of the political office holders by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

The bill also aims to provide both officers with one car each and one residential house each at any location of their choice in Lagos as well as free medical treatment.

The law holds that any person who held office as an elected governor or deputy governor is entitled to an annual basic salary equal to 100 per cent of the annual salary of the incumbent governor or deputy-governor of Lagos State, subject to review every five years or salary review by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission in line with section 210 (3) of the constitution as amended in 2011.

According to the law: “Any person duly elected as public office holder shall upon the successful completion of his term be entitled to a grant of pension for life by the state; Provided that such a person shall not be entitled to a grant of pension under this law if he was removed from office by the process of impeachment or for breach of any provision of the constitution.’’

The bill also follows a recent amendment to the Nigerian Constitution allowing the Senate President and deputy, Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy, to enjoy life pensions and other premium perks.

Those benefits were only available to past presidents and Chief Justices of the Federation.

The amendment to the Constitution emanated from the two chambers, and has been approved by more than 24 states assembly, effectively making it law.

Several Nigerian governors have also perfected secret laws in their respective states, granting billions of naira worth of benefits for themselves and their families when they leave office.
Credit: Ben Ezeamalu/Premium Times