While Nigerians criticize the extravagant and dubious pension bill sent by Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio; they are unaware that his Lagos State counterpart, Babatunde Fashola has the same version of the bill already assented to by the State House of Assembly. The bill was sent to the lawmakers on 9th May, 2007 and passed into law on 18th May, 2007 hurriedly by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration with connivance from the then elected governor.
The bill which was obtained by Elombah.com reveals that Fashola and his deputy will always be entitled to the same salary paid to the State sitting governor and deputy governor with all benefits as provided by the Revenue Mobilasation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). This will be enjoyed for life by the duo, provided they were not impeached during their tenure in office.
The bill which is also outrageous stipulates that Fashola and his deputy shall be paid 100% of the annual salary of the incumbent which will be reviewed every 5 years or when there is a review of salaries for political holders in the state and nation. More alarming are the benefits attached to the retired governor, which Fashola will soon be in less than a year time. According to the bill; Fashola and his deputy will smile him with 300% of their annual salary being paid for mere furniture’s, which must be payable every two years en-bloc while their house maintenance will gulp 10% of same salary. Their personal allowance will also be paid to them at 25% while their car maintenance will make the state purse run short with 305 of same annual salary. Their entertainment of any kind will cost the state 10%, just as their utility bills will be 25%.
Other fringe benefits which Fashola wants for himself but left out the amount to be paid him includes emoluments for his transportation and the payment of salaries to his direct staff. The governor and deputy who may have just a cold are also entitled to free medical checkup, alongside their immediate families with excess security provided for him.
While it is a known fact that houses in high brow areas of Lagos and Abuja cost millions of Naira; Fashola went ahead to demand for a residential house in Lagos for himself and deputy governor in any place of their choice. Should Fashola and his deputy chose to stay in Banana Island after his tenure; Lagos State will cough out over N500 million to do so. Another residential house will also be given to the duo in Abuja in any place of their choice; which will also cost over N500 million of the state purse on two consecutive terms.
The bill also gives the governor access to three chauffeur cars, I pilot car and two back up cars, while his deputy is entitled to two cars, 1 pilot car and a backup car which will all be replaced every three years, without stating if the former ones will be retrieved back from them.
Fashola will also enjoy the services of cook, steward, Gardner, and other domestic staff all at tax payers’ money, with all the staff pensionable. The security details of the former governors propounded by Fashola will have two SSS details and one female officer for the governor and just one SSS detail for the deputy. 8 policemen will also guard the governor (four each for house and personal security) and two for the deputy governor. His drivers whose numbers are not mentioned are also pensionable.
The mind boggling bill was passed in 2007 after being ascertained by the State House of Assembly Clerk, R.O.A Jaiyesimi. The bill haven been passed into law will be enjoyed by Fashola and other former governors and deputy governors of the state who are qualified.