Enugu Lawmakers Ditch Life Pension Bill For Ex-Governors, Deputies

Enugu State House of Assembly straightnews
Enugu State House of Assembly

Amidst growing condemnations, Enugu State House of Assembly lawmakers, Tuesday, ditched the controversial life pension bill for former governors, their deputies and spouses.

The stepping down of the bill followed public outcry about the jumbo packages contained in it for the beneficiaries.

The bill sought to appropriate, at least, 900 per cent of a governor’s annual salary as his monetary entitlements every year after leaving office.

The wife of the governor would also have gotten N12 million as annual medical allowances, provided she was married to the governor while in office.

Apart from the N12 million provided for a former governor’s wife as annual medical allowance, both ex-governor and ex-first lady will also receive free medical services until death.

The bill covers major expenses an ex-governor could incur in his or her life, including financial responsibility for burial.

Section 6 of the bill states: “Where a former governor or former deputy dies, the state government shall make adequate arrangement and bear the financial responsibility for his burial.

“It shall also pay a condolence allowance of a sum equivalent to the annual basic salary of the incumbent to the next of kin.’’

Section Four provides for “such other gratuity or allowances as may be provided by any other law” as may be entitled to a former governor other than what was stated in the bill.

In addition to the lifetime Annual Basic Salary (ABS) for an ex-governor, there is also a house maintenance allowance, an annual salary for five domestic staff and a vehicle allowance, each valued at 300 per cent of the ABS.

It provides three vehicles for an ex-governor to be replaced every four years as well as a personal assistant on salary Grade level 14.

There were also similar provisions for a former deputy governor who get 200 per cent of their ABS each for house allowance, vehicle allowance and annual salary for three domestic staff.

Speaking at the plenary Tuesday, March 16, Edward Ubosi, the speaker of the house, had said the Enugu lawmakers would “thoroughly go through it (the bill) to enable them to delete and add necessary sections to it.”

On the other hand, Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, Majority leader of the house, stated that the assembly would be guided by the views of their constituents when reconsidering the bill.

Ezeugwu who also noted that a public hearing would be held to ensure all opinions were considered, denied claims of the assembly being a “rubber stamp” legislative arm for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.