In this compelling piece, Alexander Thandi Ubani has revealed how former Nigerian governors are making millions monthly from pension laws they enacted in their respective states.
Former Nigerian governors and beneficiaries of the pension laws
The pension laws for former governors and deputies signed into law in almost all the 36 states of the federation (excluding federal capital territory, Abuja) which I sighted have exposed the hypocrisy, greed and selfish conduct of the Nigerian political class.
The documents showed how these ex-leaders allocated millions of naira monthly as pension to themselves - every single penny to be paid from the pockets of the poor masses.
Information obtained from the documents showed that former governors and their deputies in almost all the states are to be given a befitting duplex worth over N500m; more than two brand new cars replaceable every three years worth over N10m each; free vacation to any part of the world of their choice costing the masses more than N10m; security aides, domestic staff and all other unprintable entitlements to their credit.
To say the least, these ex-governors and their deputies live like kings at the detriment of the poor masses who cannot afford common potable water. From one state of the federation to the other, it is the same story of enjoyment, luxury, extravagance for these former governors and their deputies.
No one has dared to challenge these laws passed in these states with the help of their lackey Houses of Assembly all over the country. The helplessness of the situation has left many concerned Nigerians weeping uncontrollable at the pathetic, greedy and shameless crop of leaders we parade in Nigeria.
Let's take a look at the the huge sum of money some of these former governors and their deputies make monthly after leaving office from the pension documents I sighted.
The Abia state pension law of 2001 for governors and deputies stipulates that "a person who has held office as Governor in accordance with Section 3 of this law shall be entitled to: (i) pension for life at a rate equivalent to the salary of the incumbent Governor. (ii) An official car with a police driver, two state security services agents, two armed policemen for the security of his house and provision of adequate security comprising, at least, two armed policemen for his person during his lifetime at the expense of the state government. (iii) allowances for a cook, steward, driver and gardener to be determined from time to time by government. (iv) provision of medical attention for his person subject to approval of the incumbent governor.”
The state is mandated by the pension law to fork out millions from 2009 to 2017 as pension to be paid to the former governor and his ex-deputy.
This is a governor accused by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of stealing billions from his state. It is still yet to be known where the state will get the money to fund this pension when it cannot even pay its workers. Abia state is a desolate state lacking of adequate infrastructural development and here is a law making things more difficult for the citizens - a law at the mercy of citizens meant for the satisfaction of ex-leaders.
The Lagos Pension Law approved by former governor Bola Tinubu 2007 is not kind at all. The Lagos state pension law stipulates that a former governor will enjoy the following benefits for life: Two houses, one in Lagos and another in Abuja. According to property experts, such a house in Lagos is to cost N500m and Abuja N700m.
He is to be given 6 brand new cars replaceable every three years; furniture allowance of 300 percent of annual salary to be paid every two years, and close to N2.5m as pension monthly. (about N30m pension annually).
Is it not sad that a former governor who enjoyed so much luxury while in office gets to be paid N2.5 million monthly with all other entitlements while a former grade level 15 retired civil servant who served the state for 35 years is given a mere N80, 000 monthly as pension.
The ex-governor is to be provided with a well-furnished 5 bedroom duplex. 2 officers and two personal secretaries. 2 cars brand new cars and a pilot car to be replaced every 3 years. 2 SSS detail, one female police officer and 8 policemen for the governor. He shall be provided with a cook, steward, gardener and two other pensionable domestic staff.
The ex-deputy governor will be provided with a well-furnished 4-bedroom duplex, 1 brand new car and 1 pilot car to be replaced every 3 years. Furniture allowance payable every four years enbloc as same with the ex-governor. Free medical treatment to be sponsored by the state.
He's to be given the following allowances: accommodation, transport, furniture, house maintenance, entertainment, PA, utility, medical and car maintenance, same with the ex-governor.
The Rivers state pension law for ex-governors and deputies provides that an ex-governor and his deputy is entitled to pension for life - to be paid 100 percent of annual basic salaries of an incumbent governor and deputy; one residential house for former governor anywhere of his choice in Nigeria; one residential house anywhere in Rivers for the deputy; three cars for the ex-governor every four years; two cars for the deputy every four years; 300 percent of annual basic salary every four years for furniture; 10 percent of annual basic salary for house maintenance.
In Akwa Ibom, the pension law provides for N200m annual pay to ex-governors, deputies; pension for life at a rate equivalent to the salary of the incumbent governor/deputy governor respectively; a new official car and utility-vehicle every four years; one personal aide and provision of adequate security; a cook, chauffeurs and security guards for the governor at a sum not exceeding N5m per month and N2.5m for the deputy governor.
Others are: free medical services for governor and spouse at an amount not exceeding N100m for the governor per annum and N50m for the deputy governor; a five-bedroom mansion in Abuja and Akwa Ibom and allowance of 300 percent of annual basic salary for the deputy governor; 300 percent of annual basic salary every four years and severance gratuity.
The Kano State Pension Rights of Governor and Deputy Governor Law 2007 provides for 100 percent of annual basic salaries for former governor and deputy; furnished and equipped office; a 6-bedroom house; well-furnished 4-bedroom for deputy, plus an office; free medical treatment along with immediate families within and outside Nigeria where necessary; two drivers; and a provision for a 30-day vacation within and outside Nigeria.
In Sokoto, former governors and deputy governors are to receive N200 million and N180 million respectively being monetisation for other entitlements which include domestic aides, residence and vehicles that could be renewed after every four years.
Section 2 (2) of the Sokoto State Grant of Pension (governor and deputy governor) Law, 2013 states that “The total annual pension to be paid to the governor and deputy governor, shall be at a rate equivalent to the annual total salary of the incumbent governor or deputy governor of the state respectively.”
From the documents seen so far, it seems like these states followed the same template as most of the provisions are almost the same.
Here is a list providing details of what other former governors and their deputies earn monthly from their respective states as verified by Vanguard.
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.
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 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.”
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 Vanguardthat 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.
The pension laws enacted by these former governors in their respective states is nothing but a draconian law aimed at whittling away the resources of these states into the pockets of greedy and mediocre former governors which should have been used for developmental purposes.
In their greed to impoverish the masses, these governors were united irrespective of their religion, ethnicity or party. This should teach Nigerians a bitter lesson. These leaders do not care about them.
The pension laws passed in almost all the 36 states of the federation (excluding federal capital territory, Abuja) are identical and meant solely to provide luxury for these dishonourable ex-leaders who looted funds meant for the development of their states.
It is sad to note that these former governors and their deputies after earning millions while in office would still have the heart to allocate millions of naira to themselves - money that should have been used to build schools, construct roads, provide affordable electricity, pipe borne water and above all, influence the lives of the citizens positively.
What will be the fate of these states in the years to come when the list of former leaders must have multiplied?
With these financial burden, states have been rendered financially impotent. Not only are these states unable to pay their workers, some of these states have failed to execute meaningful projects as money which is supposed to be used for these purposes are channeled into the pockets of these ex-governors who stole billions from their states while in office (James Ibori
and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha
At a time most states in Nigeria are owing their workers many months of unpaid salaries, stopping the payment of pension to former governors and their deputies will provide the states with the needed capital to offset wages of its workers in order not to collapse. These ex-governors are a total liability to their respective states and should be chalked out of the pension list. Other states in Nigeria must follow the bold footstep of the Kwara state House of Assembly, by passing a law abrogating the pension laws for ex-governors and their deputies.
Even more baffling is the revelation that some of these deceitful former governors and their deputies who are members of the national assembly/ministers or political appointees have been collecting double pay (they get paid pension running into millions and still collect salaries in their present political positions as a senator/minister etc).
All Nigerians with a good conscience must protest and fight this injustice. These unwarranted emoluments must stop. Civil servants who served their states much more better for 35 years are not given a fraction of what these dubious former governors are receiving as pension.
The time for Nigerians to take their destiny in their own hands is now. If we want our communities to develop and the standard of living of our people to improve, we must join hands together to protest and fight the enemies of the people who have devised every possible means to cheat the masses.
Alexander Thandi Ubani is Journalist
He's an Editor with tori.ng