In spite of the current economic challenges Nigeria is going through, this has not slowed down the payment of pensions and allowances for former governors which is having a huge financial toll on states.
According to Vanguard, 21 states expended over N37 billion to service pensions, provision of houses, staff and vehicles replaceable between three and four years for 47 former governors.
Bauchi, Rivers, AKwa Ibom and Lagos top the chart as over years, former governors have gulped.18 billion, N2.795 billion, N2.043 billion and N1.606 billion respectively from the treasuries of their states.
For Bauchi, former governors are paid the sum of N1.201,634.28 billion per annum while ex-deputy governors receive N1,131,345.96 billion per annum.
The states’ pension payments and other entitlements are irrespective of the prescription of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) which provides 300 per cent severance for the governors as stated in the Certain Political Office Holders and Judicial Officers Remuneration Act.
The provision also allows for vehicles every three to four years. They also get accommodation at the state capital and sometimes in Abuja plus a 30-day-paid holiday outside the country.
Former governors and members of their immediate families also get free medical treatment.
According to Vanguard, Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Gombe, Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Kwara and Sokoto also earmark huge cash transfers to their former governors.
For example, Sokoto State pension law provides for N200 million every four years for former governors which is N600 million every four years for three ex-governors.
Gombe state paid N900 million to Abubakar Hashidu and Senator Danjuma Goje, its two living former governors under the state pension law which provides N300 million per term for each of the two governors.
Also, Cross River, Kwara, Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Kano, Zamfara and Sokoto States also recommended the payment of the basic salaries of the incumbent governors as yearly pension payments to their former governors.
Chief Emeka who represented Abia State in the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and was chairman of the committee which prescribed the severance payments said the payment was legal except it is inconsistent with the law as prescribed by the commission.
He said: “Anything outside the law that was recommended by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, and not in consonance with the law, and where it is already prescribed by states houses of assembly, that means that such laws are in conflict with the federal law.”