By our reporters
Former governors are bearing an exerting pressure on national development with pension payments and other entitlements draining billions of naira every year from development funds for the states.
Over N37.367 billion was according to Vanguard findings expended on servicing 47 former governors from 21 of the nation’s states in pension payments and provision of houses, staff and motor vehicles replaceable between three and four years.
Payment of pension to former governors over a four year cycle are highest in Bauchi, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Lagos States with former governors drawing N23.18 billion N2.795 billion, N2.043 billion and N1.606 billion respectively over four years.
The payments are in many cases besides provisions for medical expenses for the former chief executives which run into hundreds of millions per former chief executive in many cases.
Pension payment and other entitlements
The pension payments and other entitlements drawn by the governors are irrespective of the prescription of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC providing 300 percent severance for the governors as stated in the Certain Political Office Holders and Judicial Officers Remuneration Act. Under that act, former governors are like lawmakers entitled to 300% of their basic salary of N2, 223,705 amounting to N6,671,115 as severance pay.
Most of the provisions stipulate the provision of vehicles renewable every three to four years, accommodation at the state capital and sometimes in Abuja, 30 days paid for holiday outside the country and free medical treatment for the former governors and their immediate family members.
However, a few other states including Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Gombe Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Kwara and Sokoto States have forked up outlandish cash transfers to the former governors. The humongous payouts are sometimes styled as medical allowance and have been the butt of much controversies.
The Sokoto State pension law provides for N200 million every four years for former governors, and with three former governors, the state would have to cough out N600 million every four years to transfer to the former governors. Another N180 million is set out for payment to former deputy governors.
Gombe was the first to pay out a benefit in the hundreds of millions when it paid N900 million to its two living former governors (Abubakar Hashidu and Senator Danjuma Goje) under the state pension law for former governors which provides N300 million per term for each of the two governors.
The version of the Yobe State pension law, signed into law in early 2007 by former governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim gives former governors pension for life. The former governor/ deputy receive 200 million and 150 million respectively, two vehicles replaceable every four years, two drivers, free medical for the former governors/ deputies and their immediate families in Nigeria or abroad.
Senator Abba Ibrahim who served three different times as governor of the state is the only one enjoying the entitlement being the only former governor alive. The only other person to have shared the governor’s office with him are the late Senator Mamman Ali who died in office and the incumbent.
Besides the homogonous cash payments, some states including Cross River, Kwara, Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Kano, Zamfara and Sokoto states have also recommended the payment of the basic salaries of the incumbent governors as yearly pension payments to their former governors.
The version of the governors’ pension law in Kwara State which came into effect in 2010 states the former governor shall be entitled to two cars and a security car, replaceable every three years, a well-furnished 5-bedroom duplex, furniture allowance of 300 per cent of his salary; five personal staff, three SSS, free medical care for the governor and the deputy, 30 percent of salary for car maintenance, 20 per cent for utility, 10 percent for entertainment, 10 per cent for house maintenance.
Emeka Wogu and RMAF
Chief Emeka Wogu, a former minister who also represented Abia State in the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC and was chairman of the RMAFC committee which prescribed the severance payments told Vanguard that the pension laws prescribed by the states if inconsistent with the law as prescribed by the commission would be deemed illegal. Wogu, also a lawyer and public policy expert, however, drew back from declaring the payments to the former governors as illegal.
“Anything outside the law that was recommended by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, which is Certain political office holders and judicial officers remuneration act is not in consonance of the law and where it is already prescribed by state Houses of Assembly that means that such laws is in conflict with the federal law.”
Ahead of the 2015 presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari as candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC had promised to use moral suasion to compel the governors to amend the provisions of the pension law on the ground that they were unsustainable. His efforts since he came to power have, however, yet to come to public knowledge.
Akwa Ibom under the Pension Act, 2014 spends an average of 174.16 on former governors a year and N93.62 million on each former deputy governor per year. That is besides the estimated N25 million spent every four years in changing the official and utility cars of each former governor and deputy governor.
Besides, it is believed that not less than N300 million provided for the building of a mansion in the state or Abuja for former governors.
Official and utility cars
Akwa Ibom with two former governors, and two former deputy governors who qualify for the pension scheme, the state is expected to spend N2.043 billion over a four year round .
Rivers State will spend an estimated N2.795 billion maintaining its four former governors under provisions of the Rivers State Pensions for Governor and Deputy Governor Law, 2012.
The state will spend an average of N38.8 million in pension payments to the four former governors of the state annually at the rate of N9.7 million each. Over four years, it would amount to N155.2 million. However, the government is expected to spend a minimum of N240 million replacing the three vehicles provided for each of the former governors every three years .
Even more, the state government is expected to provide free medical services and provide two choice houses in Rivers State and Abuja for each of the former governors under the pension law passed during the tenure of Former Governor Chibuke Amaechi. With property cost averaging N300 million in Port-Harcourt and Abuja, the government would have forked out at least N2.4 billion providing the houses for the former governors.
The former governors of Rivers State are Rotimi Amaechi, Celestine Omehia, Peter Odili and Rufus Ada George.
The pension law for former governors which came into effect under the administration of Governor Amaechi provides among others that the former governors would enjoy 100 per cent of their basic salaries, two choice houses in any area of their choice in Rivers State and Abuja, three cars, replaceable every three years.
300 per cent of annual basic salary as funding for any furniture of their choice. The law also provides that 20 per cent, 10 per cent and 10 per cent of the annual salary of the incumbent governor should be earmarked for utility, accommodation maintenance and entertainment respectively.
The Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pensions Law of 2007 provides that former governors and deputy governors who are not impeached should receive 100% of the salary of the incumbent governor as pension and former governors who serve out two terms will be entitled to two houses; one in Abuja and another in Lagos.
Those who served one term will be entitled to one house in Lagos while former deputy governors would also be entitled to one house in Lagos.
Officially, a sum of N7.595 million under the law is due to each of the three former governors of the state, Tinubu, Tunde Fashola and Lateef Jakande based on calculations drawn from the annual salary of N2.22 million due the current governor. Over a four year period, the money comes to N91.14 million.
The entitlements include furniture allowance of 300% every two years, House maintenance (10%) P. A. (0.25%), Car maintenance (30%) entertainment (10%) and Utility (20%).
Besides, the state government is expected to provide six and five new vehicles for the former governor and deputy governor and provide unlimited medical coverage for the former governor and members of his immediate family. With a standard vehicle of the status of the former governors going for nothing less than N20 million each and a utility vehicle going for N5 million, that could come to N105 million for the six vehicles for each former governor. For all three former governors the amount comes to N315 million within which period the cars are to be replaced. For the two deputy governors covered by the law who are each entitled to four cars and a pilot vehicle each, it comes to N170 million.
Besides, the former governor and former deputy are to enjoy domestic staff including drivers and security at the expense of the state government.
With at least seven domestic staff for the former governor and five for the former deputy governor,
Former governors of Lagos State who served out two terms are also entitled to a building in Abuja and one in Lagos. At a conservative figure of N300 million each, building the houses for the two former governors of Lagos State would further cost N1.2 billion bringing the total expenditure on former governors of Lagos to an estimated N1.606 billion besides the expenses on domestic staff, security personnel among others.
Two former governors of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Theodore Orji are beneficiaries of the Abia State Governors’/Deputy Governors’ Pension Law.
The former governors are entitled to 100% of the salary of the incumbent which for the two men would mean sharing N4.44 million every year and N17.76 million over four years. The official vehicle earmarked at N20 million each could bring the expenditure on the two former governors of the state over four years to N57.76 million
Former deputy governors of the state are also entitled to 100 per cent of the salary of the incumbent deputy governor.
Besides the pension , the Pension Law for former governors and deputy governors of the state also provides that former governors are entitled to “the sum of money as may from time to time be granted by the State Government by way of Pensions, allowances and privileges in accordance with this Law”.
Privileges for the former governor
The privileges for the former governor include an official car, a police orderly, two operatives of Department of State Service, two police men for the security of his house. He is also entitled to allowances for cooks, stewards, driver and gardener.
On a conservative monthly payment of N30,000 for each, that could bring the total payment on domestic staff to the two former governors over four years to N11.52 million bringing the total expenditure on the two former governors of the state to N69.28 million over four years
The Law also made provision for medical attention for the former governors and their deputies.
Some privileges are also extended to former deputy governors but lower than what the former governor enjoy.
The former deputy governors of Abia State entitled to the allowance are Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chief Eric Acho Nwakanma, who served under Orji Uzor Kalu. Chief Emeka Ananaba who served with former Governor Orji. Senator Abaribe, however, told Vanguard that he was not collecting any pension from the Abia State government.
In Osun State, the law guiding the payment of pensions to former governors and their deputies is cited as the Pension (Governor and Deputy Governor) Law 2001.
The law stipulates that former governors and former deputy governors shall be entitled to pension at the rate equivalent to the incumbent office holder.
That would entail N2.22 million to the three former governors of the state; namely, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Bisi Akande and Prince Olagunose Oyinola.
Over four years, the three would have collected N26.64 million.
Benefits accruable to former governors of Edo State under the Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor Law 2007 presently amount to 100 per cent of the salary of the incumbent governor for life, an officer not above Salary grade level 12 as Special Assistant, a personal secretary not below grade level 10 who shall be selected by the former governor from the public service of Edo State.
Edo State arguably has the highest number of living former civilian governors with Dr. S. O. Ogbemudia, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor and lately, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The amount accruable to them presently stands at N11 million per year and N44 million over four years. The SA and personal secretary earning on the average of N300,000 and N100,000 monthly respectively, makes it that the state would expend N24 million on the aides of the five former governors amounting to N96 million over four years.
That would bring the total expenditure on the former governors to N140 million over four years.
However, should Governor Godwin Obaseki sign the new pension bill for former governors of Edo State, passed by the House of Assembly last November it would significantly raise the amount being expended on former governors of the state who outnumber former governors elsewhere. That could mean the state providing N200 million each for building a house for each of the former five governors bringing the total expenditure to be expended over four years to N1.14 billion for the former governors alone.
The pension for former governors of Gombe State is guided by the Establishment of Executive Pension Law and other Matters Connected therewith, 2008.
The law stipulates that a former governor shall be provided with a Personal Assistant not less than GL 10, two vehicles, to be replaced every four years, two drivers, free medical treatment for the former governor and his immediate family within Nigeria or abroad, 30 days annual vacation outside Nigeria with 30 days estacode with travel expense allowance for himself and wife, a furnished befitting accommodation in any part of the state, one direct telephone line internet facilities.
The former governor also goes with N200 million as severance allowance while deputy governors go with N100 milion.
With a 30 day vacation for the governor and a wife not costing less than an estimated N10 million, two vehicles at N20 million each, a personal assistant earning N300,000 monthly, two drivers earning N30,000 each Gombe State could spend N54.3 million over four years. With building costing an estimated N200 million and severance of N200 million, a former governor of Gombe could cost the state as much as N454.3 million over four years.
With two former governors in the persons of Senator Danjuma Goje and Abubakar Hashidu, Gombe could have coughed out as much as N908.6 million
The Grant of Pension to Governor or Deputy Governor (Amendment Law) 2006 is the law guiding the provision of pension and other benefits to former governors of Zamfara State. It provides a pension for life equivalent to the salary of the incumbent, two personal staff, two vehicles replaceable every four years, two drivers, free medical for the former governors and deputies and their immediate families in Nigeria or abroad.
The pension for the governor and his personal and domestic staff amount to N10.12 million and over four years could amount to N40.48 million. With the periodic roll over of two vehicles costing N20 million each, expenditure on a former governor of Zamfara State would amount every four years to N80.96 million.
Zamfara State with two former governors in the persons of Senator Sani Yerima who conceived the law while in office in 2006 and his successor, former Governor Mahmud Shinkafi, the state would over four years expend N161.92 million maintaining them besides the open cheque for medical treatment in Nigeria or abroad for the former governor and members of his family.
There is a subsisting pension law in Imo State, for former governors and their deputies.
Currently, the only beneficiaries of this law are the two former civilian governors, Chief Achike Udenwa and Chief Ikedi Ohakim, as well as their deputies, Engr. Ebere Udeagu and Mrs. Ada Okwuonu respectively.
Vanguard gathered that none of the four benefitting personalities is currently occupying any public office in the country. The immediate past governor of the state, Chief Ohakim is, however, not a beneficiary, his media aide, Mr. Henry Ekpe told Vanguard.
“The present administration has not paid Chief Ohakim a dime as pension, since he left office in 2011. He has not equally been paid his severance allowance up till today,” Mr. Ekpe said.
Provision of Pension Rights of the Executive Governor and Deputy of Delta State, 2005 is the law guiding the provision of pension for former governors and deputy governors of Delta State. Olorogun Felix Ovuodoroye Ibru, his deputy, Simon Ebonka, Chief James Onanefe Ibori and his deputy, Chief Benjamin Elue were the initial beneficiaries.
As at today, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan and his deputy, Prof Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN have joined the beneficiaries lists , following their disengagement from office in 2015 making them the sixth persons on the list until the demise of Olorogun Felix Ovuodoroye Ibru.
The former Governors and their deputies are entitled to one duplex in any city of their choice within Nigeria, One jeep and a backup car replaceable every two years, an office with four staff, two security personnel and a monthly salary among others.
With an average monthly salary of N100,000 for each of the four staff, the former governor’s N2.2 million annual salary, and two vehicles at N20 million each and replaceable every two years could bring expenditure on each former governor to N108 million every four years. With two former governors, Chief James Onanefe Ibori and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, that would bring the official expenditure to N216 million besides the estimated N300 million each provision for building houses for each of the two governors bringing total expenditure to N816 million.
The law guiding pension rights for former governors of Kano State provides that the former governor and deputy governor should get 100% of the incumbent, a well equipped office, a six bedroom house and free medical treatment for the former governor and members of his family.
The Yobe State version of the law, signed into law in early 2007 by the State House of Assembly under former Governor Ibrahim is entitled Severance Gratuity for Former Governors/Deputy Governors in Yobe, 2007.
The law gives former governors pension for life at the salary level of the incumbent governor. The former governor receives N200 million two vehicles replaceable every four years, two drivers, free medicals for himself and his immediate family and a house in the state capital and in Abuja.
With salaries of two drivers earmarked at N360,000 per annum each and the former governor’s pension at N2.2 million and vehicles of N20 million each replaceable every four years, the former governor is also entitled to a building in Abuja and the state capital costing an estimated N300 million in Damaturu and N500 million in Abuja.
The payments over four years could reach N51.68 million besides the N800 million provided for the building of two houses under the law.
The pension law in Jigawa State entitled Former Public officers Pension and other Benefits Law No 15 of 2015 stipulates that a governor who successfully completed his term without impeachment should be entitled to a monthly pension equivalent to the current 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 house fully furnished, two personal assistants not below grade level 10, two drivers selected by the governor and be paid by the state, a fully furnished office in any location of choice of the governor and fully paid medical treatment within Nigeria and abroad.
With an annual pension of N2.22 million, salaries of two drivers and two aides at N720,000 and N2.4 million respectively, it would come to N5.34 million and over four years would amount to N21.36 million with the provision of two brand new vehicles would amount to N61.36 million and with the estimated N200 million meant for residential and office accommodation each of the former three governors of Jigawa State would draw an estimated N261.36 million besides the open ended provision for medical coverage amounting to N784.8 million.
The Deputy Governor is also to get a monthly pension equivalent to the incumbent’s salary, one assistant not below level eight, one brand new vehicle, four bedrooms flat, an office in a location of his choice.
On the same assumption but with provision of a N100 million for office and accommodation and provision of a vehicle every four years, the estimate for a former deputy governor could amount to N136.48 million
The Oyo State Pension Law 2004, provides that a former Governor and his Deputy are to collect pension as long as they live.
The law stipulates that the pension for life will be paid at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbent Governor or Deputy Governor of the state.
The breakdown of the pension and allowances includes furniture Allowance which is put at 300 per cent of the annual basic salary, leave allowance is 10 per cent of annual basic salary, severance allowance will be 300 per cent of the annual basic salary
The law further states that “any pension granted under this law shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state.”
Consolidated revenue fund
The three former governors alive Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo would according to the provisions of the law draw a combined benefit of N27.06 and over four years drawN108.24 million.
The only former deputy governor alive, Iyiola Oladokun, by the law would also draw the same benefit amounting to N8.65 per year and over a period of four years would draw N34.6 million bringing total expenditure over a four year period to N116.89 million.
The pension scheme in Niger State was introduced during the Abdulkadir Kure regime. It provides for the payment of pension to former governors and deputy governors and the provision of two drivers on GL 07, two personal assistants on Grade Level 08, security aides and an SUV renewable every year. The monetary cost of these to the state apart from security aides would amount to N26.5 million per year. That is besides the estimated N200 million it could take to provide a mansion for the former governor.
Over a four year period, the cost on the state on each former governor would be N106.16 million and with the building it would amount to N300.16 million.
The third civilian governor of the state, Engr. Abdulkadir Kure who has just died. With two living former governors, Alhaji Awal Ibrahim, the emir of Suleja and with the immediate past governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu and two living former deputy governors, the cost on the state would amount to N1.2 billion.
The provision of pensions for former governors and their deputies in Bauchi State is governed by the “Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Law, 2004.” The law prescribes that a former governor or former deputy governor will enjoy pension for life at a rate equivalent to his last salary when he was in office as Governor or Deputy Governor subject to review by the House of Assembly of Bauchi State.
Other provisions of the law for the Governor, states that the Governor is entitled to two official cars with police drivers, two state security service agents, two armed policemen for security of his house and provision of adequate security comprising of at least two policemen for his person during his lifetime at the expense of the state governments.
For the Deputy Governor, the law states that he is entitled to an official car with driver, one State Security Service Agent, one armed policeman for the security of his house and provision of adequate security comprising of at least one policemen for his person during his lifetime at the expense of the state governments.
Others include allowances for cook, steward, driver and Gardner commensurate to staff on appropriate grade, provision of medical attention for his person during his life time.
As at the last count, there are three civilian governors and their deputies in Bauchi State who are beneficiaries of the pension law . They include Ahmed Mu’azu, (1999-2007), Isa Yuguda, (2007-2015) and the incumbent Governor Mohammed Abubakar (2015- till date) while the Deputy Governors include Abdulmalik Mamud ( 1999-2007) and Babayo Gamawa (2009-2011), First Tenure) and Aminu Saleh(2011-2015, Second tenure) and Engr.Nuhu Giddao, incumbent Deputy Governor(2015-till date). However only one Deputy Governor Garba Gadi(2007-2009) during Isa Yuguda is not a beneficiary of the law because he was impeached during his first tenure in office.
Findings from Bauchi State Ministry of Justice revealed that former Civilian Governors are paid the sum of N1.201,634.28 billion while former Deputy governors are paid the sum of N1,131,345.96 billion per annum.
With two former governors and three former deputy governors, the yearly expenditure on the former governors and deputy governors would amount to N5.795 billion and over four years would amount to N23.18 billion.
The pension benefits for former governors and deputy governors of Bayelsa State entitled Bayelsa State Pensions for Governors and Deputy Governors Law, 2003 came vide a private member’s bill sponsored by Chief Robert Enogha in 2003.
It stipulates among others that “any indigene of Bayelsa State who has office as a Governor or Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State or Rivers State shall be entitled to pension for life on the basis of the annual salary of the incumbent Governor or Deputy of Bayelsa State.
The pension, which means annual salary attached to the office held by the Governor or Deputy Governor consists of annual terminal basic salary, annual transport allowance, annual utility allowance, annual entertainment allowance as well as annual salary of entitled domestic staff of not more than four officers on consolidated salaries occupying pensionable posts.
With four domestic staff earning a minimum of N30,000 each monthly and the governor’s pension of N2.22 million each former governor of Bayelsa State would draw a minimum of N3.66 million besides other entitlements of vehicles, personal aides, medicals and other not explicitly stated in the law.
A former deputy governor would also draw N3.55 million besides the unstated entitlements. Former Governors Goodluck Jonathan and Timipre Sylva would under the provisions draw N7.32 million and in four years draw N29.28 million
The provision of pension for former governors and deputy governors of Katsina State is presently guided by the Pension Law, 2011 as amended. The law provides pension for all former governors of the state including those from Katsina State who served in the Old Kaduna State.
The Pension Law, 2011 now covers all living former governors from the state namely: Alhaji Sa’idu Barda, Alhaji Lawal Kaita and Alhaji Abba Musa Rimi and Alhaji Ibrahim Shema who are to enjoy free houses and medical services under the new pension law 2011.
With four living former governors each receiving pension benefit of N2.22 million besides other entitlements including vehicles, aides and vehicles, a verified cost of N8.88 million per year on the former governors and a cost of N35.52 million over four years would be charged to the state. The charge on the state account for the three living former deputy governors would also amount to N25.32 bringing the total for both set of former officers to N60.84 million.
The guideline for pensions for former governors and deputy governors of Ondo State is found in the law, Grant of Pensions to the Governor, Deputy Governor or Ondo State and for other Ancillary Matters, 2004. Only one former governor of the state, Chief Bamidele Olumilua is alive while two former deputy governors are alive. The pension provision for them states thus: “Any person who has held the office of governor or deputy of the state shall be entitled to the payment of pension for life “Any person who has held office as the governor or deputy governor shall be entitled to pension for life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of an incumbent governor or deputy governor.
Olumilua, the only former governor is from the Ekiti side of the old Ondo State while one of the former deputy governors was impeached making him ineligible.
The only beneficiary of the pension scheme is Chief Omolade Oluwateru who served as deputy governor in the Segun Agagu administration between 2003 and 2009. He confirmed to Vanguard that he receives the pension which is estimated as the salary of the incumbent which is N2.11 million per annum and nothing else. In four years, he would receive N8.44 million.
The Borno State Severance Allowance Law, 2011 guides the provision of pension for former governors of the state.
The law provides that governors should be entitled to a bulk payment of N400 million, two vehicles, two stewards, a befitting house in any location of his choice and two holidays outside the country. With the house estimated at N300 million, an annual vacation of N10 million every six months, the entitlement of a former governor within the first four years could amount to N764.94
Former governors and their deputies from Anambra State are enjoying pensions as provided in the State Governors Pensions Law, 2009.
The law provides for life pension for a person who held office as Governor in accordance with the law, at a rate equivalent to his last salary in office subject to review from time to time by the incumbent Governor on the advice of the state Accountant General.
It also provides for an official car, two personal aides and provision of adequate security for his person during his lifetime at the expense of the state government.
Other provisions include allowances for cook, steward, driver and gardener to be determined from time to time by the incumbent Governor on the advice of the Head of Service and medical attention for his person, subject to the approval of the incumbent Governor.
For a former governor the financial commitments besides medicals and security would run up to N48.96 million while for a deputy governor, it would be N48.52 million. With three former governors eligible and two former deputies, the provision over four years would amount to N243.92 million.
Provision of pensions to former governors of Ebonyi State are governed by the Ebonyi State Political Office Holders Amendment Law 2011 under which two former governors, Dr. Sam Egwu and Chief Martin Elechi respectively get N467, 000 and N593, 205. 95 respectively per month. The financial provisions are besides vehicles and personal aides that are provided for them.
A former governor from the state, Dr. Ogbonnonya Onu is presently excluded because of the amendment of the law in 2011 which specified that provision was meant only for former civilian governors of Ebonyi State. Onu served as governor of the old Abia State of which a section of Ebonyi was part of.