GOVERNOR Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State and his Deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, certainly have no cause to worry on what life would be for them after leaving office on May 29, 2015.
Courtesy of a Pension Law entitled, Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law 2007, they will be moving into another life of comfort even if they are not holding any political office again.
According to the law which was passed by the Fifth Assembly, Lagos State House of Assembly and signed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the governor and his deputy will still be earning 100 per cent of the basic salary of the incumbent governor and deputy which is N2,223,705 and N2,112,215 per annum respectively.
According to the law, this basic salary will be reviewed every five years or whenever there is salary review of the political office holders by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, in line with Section 210(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
The law did not stop at the basic salary. There are other allowances and fringe benefits to be enjoyed by the former governor and the deputy governor after leaving office. For instance, the governor and his deputy would be provided one residential house each at any location of their choice in Lagos State. And for Governor Fashola, who would have served two terms by May 29, 2015, he would also be entitled to one residential house in any location of his choice in FCT, Abuja. All these at the expense of Lagos State government.
The outgoing governor will also be given six cars (three cars for himself, one pilot car and two back-up cars). While the deputy will be a beneficiary of four cars (two cars for her personal use, one pilot car and one back-up car). The 10 cars for the governor and deputy are to be replaced every three years.
The outgoing governor and his deputy will certainly not sit on the floor in their new houses. Therefore, the law made provisions for furniture for them. However, the furniture, according to the law, will be monetized at 300 per cent of their annual basic which will amount to N6,671,115 for the governor and N6,336,645 for the deputy governor. This lump sum will be paid to the governor and the deputy every two years.
They will also get 10 per cent of their annual basic, of N222,379.50 and N211,221.50 respectively, as house maintenance. This will be annually.
Other allowances and fringe benefits for the governor and his deputy after leaving office will include 25 per cent of their annual basic salary, N556,926.25 (governor), N528,053.75 (deputy) for their personal assistant (PA), 30 per cent of their annual basic salary, N667,111.50 (governor), N633,664.50 (deputy) as car maintenance allowance, 10 per cent of their annual basic salary, N222,379.50 (governor) and N211,221.50 (deputy), as entertainment allowance and 20 per cent of their annual basic, N444,759.00 (governor) and N422,443.00 (deputy), as utility allowance.
In addition to these monetized allowances and fringe benefits, the governor and his deputy will also, at the state expense, be entitled to a cook, steward, gardener and domestic staff who shall be pensionable. They and their immediate families will also enjoy free medical treatment.
The flanks of the governor and his deputy cannot be left opened just because they are out of office. So, the Pension Law made provision for their security. For the outgoing governor, he is entitled to two SSS details and one female officer and eight policemen (four each for the house and personal security). While the deputy governor is entitled to just one SSS detail and two policemen (one for the house and one for personal security of the deputy governor). The 10 drivers of the former governor and deputy will be pensionable (meaning they will be coming from the pool of drivers in the government service).
Governor Fashola and his deputy are certainly not going to be the first to enjoy these largesse in the state. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who signed the bill into law on May 9, 2007, was the first governor to enjoy the throw down or windfall.
Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, who was Asiwaju Tinubu’s deputy for just two weeks has also been enjoying the windfall. Otunba Femi Pedro, who Prince Ogunleye took over from at the twilight of his tenure in 2007, has not been that lucky.
He was impeached just two weeks to the end of his tenure and according to Section 2 of the law, any public officer (governor or deputy governor) who is removed from office by impeachment shall not be entitled to this pension for life.
Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, who did not complete her tenure in 2003 (she resigned in 2002, when she got wind that she was about to be impeached) had to take the state government to court before she could benefit from the windfall on pro-rata basis.
Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, who was Governor Fashola (SAN) deputy from 2007-2011, is also enjoying the windfall.
This is in addition to severance pay recommended for all political office holders by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), after the completion of their tenure. For the governor and his deputy, the severance pay is 300 per cent of their basic salaries which is N6,671,115 and N6,336,645 respectively.
TABLE OF EARNINGS FOR THE GOVERNOR AND DEPUTY GOVERNOR
GOVERNOR DEPUTY GOVERNOR
Basic Salary N2,223,705 N2,112,215
Furniture N6,671,115 N6,336,645
House Maintenance N222,379.50 N211,221.50
Personal Assistant N556,926.25 N528,053.75
Car Maintenance N667,111.50 N633,664.50
Entertainment Allowance N222,379.50 N211,221.50
Utility Allowance N444,759.00 N422,443.00
Severance pay N6,671,115 N6,336,645
Houses 2 (one in Lagos & Abuja) 1
Security 2 SSS 8 Policemen 1 SSS 2 Policemen
Free Medical treatment