Former Lagos State governors will no longer benefit from a large and expensive pension from Lagos state taxpayers if the bill to end that largesse passes the state legislature.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the hint while presenting the 2021 budget to the state House of Assembly.
Mr. Sanwo-Olu presented a budget of N1.155 trillion which he named “Budget of Rekindling Hope.”
Cost saving measures according to the governor is a major reason for the proposed bill which would greatly reduce the cost burden on the state that prides itself as centre of excellence.
The governor said: “In the light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft Executive Bill to the House immediately for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law, 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies.
“It is our firm belief that with dwindling revenues and the apparent inflationary rates, we need to come up with innovative ways of keeping the cost of governance at a minimum while engineering a spirit of selflessness in public service.”
The law provides a lavish lifestyle for all former governors and their deputies to the total sum of N30million annually, a house in Lagos or Abuja, six brand new cars every three years, medical allowances and treatment in hospital of choice in any part of the world, and other allowances.
Former governors who are entitled to the benefits under the law are Alhaji Lateef Jakande (1979-1983), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (1999-2007), Mr. Babatunde Fashola (2007-2015), and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2015-2019).
The ex-deputy governors are Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu (1991-1993), Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele (1999-2002), Mr. Olufemi Pedro (2002-2007), Prince Abiodun Ogunleye (2007), Princess Sarah Sosan (2007-2011), Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (2011-2015), and Dr. Idiat Adebule (2015-2019).
Governors who won’t get benefits anymore
Lateef Jakande October 1979-December 1983
The Journalist who became a governor
Fondly called Baba Kekere, Jakande is undoubtedly the best Executive Governor in Lagos. His administration marked the opening up of Lagos and execution of many populist agenda including low-cost housing, free-education, road and infrastructure. After Major General Muhammadu Buhari imprisoned him, he was tried for corruption but later pardoned.
Jakande has remained the model for good governance, now 91 years old, he remains the only former governor who is not stupendously rich and lives modestly. He was quoted as saying he had no need for the pension as he received some pension of sorts from Lagosians who benefitted from his administration’s policies.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu 1999-2007
The Accountant who ‘owns’ Lagos
Tinubu has been a recurring decimal in Lagos politics since the return to democracy in 1999. Tinubu, a senator in the botched third republic became governor by riding on the back of pro-democracy activism.
Tinubu’s administration has been rated as one of the most corrupt and ineffectual administrations with little infrastructure to show for it. Tinubu, many Lagosians feel spent his entire time playing politics leaving governance to suffer.
His time as Lagos governor also heralded the glorification of touts and area boys which continued to blight Lagos to this day. His time also suffered from various controversies including the “Chicago Certificate” scandal, the sack of his deputy governor, his non-indigenous status in Lagos, his false paternity claims etc.
Tinubu is said to “own” Lagos as he is alleged to have corned for himself a large chunk of the state revenue through various ingenious schemes including a scheme through Alpha Beta, a tax collecting company where he gets percentages from taxes collected from Lagos.
Today, Tinubu is alleged to be worth billions and is singlehandedly responsible for enthroning subsequent governors of the state and the current vice president.
Babatunde Raji Fashola 2007-2015
“May your loyalty not be tested”
Today, Fashola is the butt of social media jokes following his not-so-intelligent attempt at playing Sherlock Holmes on the ENDSARS protest which turned tragic at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.
But when he became governor following a keenly contested election, he was seen as the outlier who however successfully warmed himself into the heart of Lagosians. Fashola inherited such a deplorable state of affairs in Lagos, fallen infrastructure, dirty environment and challenging fiscal structure.
But he began by planting trees all which led to his being dubbed the tree planting governor. But for eight years, he was able to set Lagos on a steady foot, provide basic infrastructure and restore a semblance of sanity to the state.
He is currently the Minister of Works and Housing after serving four years as super minister of Power, Works and Housing. His performance at the Federal Level however has been grossly abysmal.
Akinwunmi Ambode 2015-2019
A good tree does not last in the forest
Ambode, a financial guru who saved Lagos during the heady days of Tinubu by designing and implementing creative financial strategies that turned Lagos misfortune around became governor through the instrumentality of Bola Tinubu.
However, he soon fell out with the godfather and was subsequently denied a second term after a fight with his party in the pigsty.
However, Lagosians will remember Ambode for his giant strides in infrastructural development of the state. He built modern roads and several flyovers. He was also persecuted after his exit from office and currently lives a quiet life.