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JUST IN: Lagos Assembly slashes pension for Tinubu, Fashola, Ambode others

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of the measures to reduce the cost of governance, the Lagos State House of Assembly has slashed the pension payable to former governors, deputies, and other affected officials by 50 percent.

The lawmakers also removed in the state law the provision of houses in Abuja and Lagos for former governors as stipulated in an earlier law operated by the state.

Aside from that, the lawmakers further agreed that the number of vehicles given to former governors and their deputies should be prone down to reduce the expenses incurred by the state government on the ex-public officeholders.

The lawmakers made the approval on Thursday while deliberating on an executive bill presented before the House by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to repeal the public officeholder (payment of pension law 2007).

Sanwo-Olu said that the move was his administration’s punitive measures to cut governance costs and operate a less cumbersome and bureaucratic government.

The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who chaired deliberations on the bill, recommended that former governors should get two vehicles (a car and a van) instead of three as recommended by the committee.

Obasa also suggested that the amended bill should provide that the cars be changed every four years instead of the three years recommended by the report submitted by the committee.

While some of the lawmakers, at plenary, had suggested for an upward review of the pension for the affected public office holders by 75 percent, others urged that the pension remain as stipulated in the old law.

However, Obasa argued that it should be left at 50 percent, especially as the report had recommended the removal of houses and reduced other benefits that were previously given to them.

“By virtue of my office, I have seen former Speakers who we just had to intervene in their lives because of the situations they found themselves in outside public office. We have also seen former governors in a very bad situation,” he added.

Obasa noted that the argument of his colleagues that the projected downward review of the pension for the former governors and others could also be affected by inflation and other economic considerations.

The speaker, meanwhile, reminded his colleagues that the House must meet the wishes of the people one of which was a cut in the cost of governance going forward.

“There is no argument, we must realise that this is democracy and it is all about the people. We are here because of the people. When we represent people, it is good for us to listen to them as well.

“We must realise that we would always go back to the people for support. So when we hearken to their agitations and reduce what existed, it shows that we listen,” Obasa told his colleagues adding that his suggestion for further reduction of the number of cars was because “as you age, your needs continue to decrease.”

Earlier some of the lawmakers had supported the report of the committee saying it would have a positive impact on the internally generated revenue of the state.

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