Lagos State Pension Law
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Tunde Braimoh – Lagos State House of Assembly Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy.
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Sunday 8th December said it would not stop the payment of Pensions and other benefits enjoyed by former governors and deputy governors in Lagos state. Wemimo Adewuni remarks that this comes after the Zamfara State repeal of the pension law making ex-governors and deputy governors enjoy a special type of payment after they leave office.
This, in a reaction to the Ikoyi Federal High Court directive on the "recovery of public funds from the former governors”. The Federal High court judge, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo also ruled that the AGF should report compliance with the judgment on February 3rd, 2020.
The guest on the show who comments through phone call says he doesn’t know much about the Ikoyi Federal High Court directive. According to him, lawyers who interpret laws and before anything happens that may change the dynamics, there dynamics which would be followed.
“In this case, I don’t know if there’s a ruling. If it is a final judgement of the court, I don’t know which one. Also, I’ll ask if they’re saying that the law runs counter to the constitution.
“But we are not participating in this matter right now and there is no plan to appeal that decision. We will wait to see how it turns out.”
Regarding the pension laws that runs in Lagos, which Wemimo reels out from a script, Braimoh calls it a ‘reflection on our renaissance democracy’ which as time goes on, Nigerians shall get to understand better. It depends on our choices.”
Sheriff asked Braimoh if civil servants are here to serve the people or is it that the citizens have to serve civil servants. He mentions that Barack Obama at some point during his presidency was still paying his school loan. What message does that send to office holders in Nigeria?
Braimoh says it doesn’t mean that Obama wasn’t getting support from government at that time. “I’m aware that even the United States gives support to former presidents who have served meritoriously. They are being paid that amount for securing their financial future. Is it not tempting for someone to control trillions of naira and after three or four years they’ll be hungry?”
Wemimo counters: Is it not tempting in that regard that someone working in a bank and deals in a lot of money but don’t have this kind of money?
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, on Friday December 6th has said the Lagos state had pensions for all categories of public servants, adding that the payments were backed by law.
Notably, the Lagos Federal High Court directive on fund recovery from ex-public officials came about a week after Zamfara state repealed its pension law for its former governors and other public officials.
The Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pensions Law of 2007, from research, is one of the most lucrative pensions in the federation. It was approved by Bola Tinubu and it reportedly gives a former governor life pension at the rate of N30 million per annum.
The Federal High Court has ruled that “Ex-governors serving as ministers and senators but still being paid pension must refund the money":
Is this for the economic benefit? How achievable is this? Should refund be the priority now?