A civil rights group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, has asked Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to withhold his assent to the Bill by the State Assembly which proposed a less than 50 percent reduction of pensions to former governors of the state.
HEDA said there was the need for the review of the proposed legislation to entirely abolish the privilege.
The group stated this in a statement sent by its chairman, Olarenwaju Suraju on Saturday.
Recall that the Lagos State House of Assembly had announced on Thursday that former Governors would now receive half of what the State used to give them as pension after leaving office.
Part of the pension benefits include but not restricted to cash in millions of naira, a fleet of cars to be changed in every three years and houses to be built for them all at public expense.
Under the new package the ex-governors will now receive three new cars to be changed every four years and huge financial supports.
However, in pressing home its argument, Head reminded Sanwo-Olu of his past pledge to stop the reckless and insensitive package to his predecessors including the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, and the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Suraju said, “The decision of the Lagos State Government to reduce the pension of former Governors by 50 percent is a breach of the earlier public commitment and original Bill submitted to the Assembly by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to entirely abolish the privilege.
“It We are shocked by the hypocritical and selfish decision of the State House of Assembly to reduce the package for the former State Governors rather than approving the proposal as sent by the State’s executive. The truth of the matter is that, having served the state for between four to eight years, with their salaries and emoluments paid apart from a string of perks and privileges including unquestionable security votes, it is ridiculous that the public will continue to shoulder their personal needs after they have left the office.
“The former governors are not career workers like civil servants who often put in up to 35 years into public service. The 50 percent slash fails to address the fundamental issue which is that the former governors do not deserve to live on public funds after they have left to continue their mostly profit driven private businesses.
“The decision of the Lagos State House of Assembly is unilateral and even amounts to crying more than the bereaved. There were no consultations with the public.
“The elected members did not hold any discussion with the electorate. There was a kangaroo public hearing on the floor of the house. This is not a popular decision but a step taken to please their political godfathers.”
He also argued that payment to former Governors was a decision that had to be taken in consultation with the tax payers and not an imposition by 40 members of the State House of Assembly.
“The country is facing declining economic glory. Hunger and starvation are ravaging the land. It is ridiculous that what the elected officials are thinking of is the special economic protection for former governors” HEDA said.