An ear-tingling tragedy may befall the economy of Enugu State, as the state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi may have strategized and channeled a lifetime looting pipe to his pocket and that of the ex-Governors and their deputies in his quest for the adoption of a ‘Life Pension Bill’ covering yearly pension, security, house, medical as well as vehicle maintenance allowance with figures above N2,403,000,000 (Two Billion, Four Hundred and Three Million Naira) to be spent in a year.
With its shaky foundation, the coal city-state in the bill which has passed its first reading on the floor of the state house of assembly is proposing a life pension for ex-Governors, with a yearly medical allowance of not more than N12,000,000 (Twelve Million Naira) for their wives. The bill also proposes three new vehicles every four years and at death, Enugu State Government foots burial expenses of the ex-governors with an additional one year salary to be received by their next of kin.
An excerpt from the bill showed that ex-governors who have walked the corridors of the Lion House will be entitled to a monthly basic salary of N2,220,000 (Two Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira) totaling N26,640,000 (Twenty Six Million, Six Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) annually. House and Vehicle maintenance allowance of N53,280,000 respectively which is 200% of their annual basic salary. Medical allowance not exceeding N12,000,000 was also proposed for the ex-Governors and their wives with a Security allowance of about N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira). Three staffs attached to the ex- Governors are also to be paid N100,000 monthly which implies that N3,600,000 will be spent annually on three aides from each former governor.
Finding also showed that a total of N384,500,000 (Three hundred and eighty-four million five hundred thousand Naira) of tax payers’ money will be washed down the drain every year on former deputies in the state, bringing the total possible amount to be spent in a year babysitting ex-governors in the state at N1,153 500,000 (one billion, one hundred and fifty-three million, five hundred thousand Naira) all to the detriment of residents in Enugu whose daily contributions to the government will make a greater portion on the intended funds for the pension to the former lion house occupants.
Regrettably, huge sums were also earmarked for liabilities for the erstwhile occupant of the Lion House as vehicle allowance for former Governors according to the bill is pegged at N150,000,000 (One hundred and fifty million) for a total of four vehicles, While former deputies will smile home with N1,000,000 (one hundred million) each for the same number of vehicles.
A breakdown of the intended bill shows that on yearly basis, the already improvised State which still struggles to clear the backlog of pensions in the state will be spending more than a billion Naira on four Ex-Governors; Jim Nwobodo, Okwy Nwodo, Chimaroke Nnamani, Sullivan Chime with the present Governor of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi completing the pentamerous looters by the time he steps down in 2023.