SERAP Calls For Such Practice To Stop
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has described as ‘outrageous practice’ the practice of paying outgoing governors, who were not re-elected, billions of naira aside pension and other benefits.
This is as findings revealed that Fourteen governors, their deputies and 434 state lawmakers who will not be returning to the government will be going home with N2.06bn.
As Punch reports, Prominent among the governors are Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Lagos State Governor,Akinwunmi Ambode among others.
Others are Adamawa State Governor, Bindo Jibrila, and his counterpart in Bauchi, Mohammed Abubakar, who did not win their re-election bids are also among the governors to collect severance allowance.
Going by a template obtained from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, each of the governors will get a total of N6.67m as severance allowance. Each of their deputies will receive a total of N6.34m as severance allowance at the end of their tenures on May 29.
This means that the 14 governors and their deputies will be going home with a total of N182.11m at the expiration of their tenures on May 29.
The severance allowance is, however, separate from other packages which many states have put in place as retirement benefits or pension packages for their governors and deputy governors.
Some of such packages include unlimited health care benefits as well as houses in any place of their choice in the state. Some also offer another house in the Federal Capital Territory. Some former governors have been known to implement some of the packages for themselves towards the end of their tenures.
Investigation also showed that 434 state lawmakers spread across 27 states will be going home with a total of N1.88bn. Each state lawmaker is entitled to 300 percent of their annual basic salary as severance allowance. This comes to N4.34m.
In Oyo State where 30 lawmakers will not be returning to the state House of Assembly, the lawmakers are to receive a total of N130.14m.
In Niger State, 27 non-returning lawmakers will receive a total of N117.12m; while in Benue, 24 non-returning lawmakers will get a severance package of N104.16m. Ekiti State also has 24 non-returning lawmakers that will go home with N104.16m.
Naija News also learned that Twenty-three non-returning lawmakers in Kwara State will be receiving a total of N99.82m. The same amount will be going to 23 non-returning lawmakers in Osun State.
Ogun State has 22 non-returning lawmakers who will receive a total of N95.48m. The same amount will also be paid to 22 lawmakers who will not be returning to the Bauchi State House of Assembly.
In Imo State, 21 non-returning state lawmakers will go home with a total of N91.14m while 19 lawmakers in Gombe State will be going home with N82.46m. Ondo State has 18 non-returning lawmakers that will return home with N78.12m.
Anambra State has 17 non-returning lawmakers that will go home with N73.78m. The same applies to Plateau State while Kogi and Zamfara states have 16 non-returning lawmakers respectively that will go home with N69.44m.
Edo State has 15 non-returning lawmakers that will go home with N65.1m. Adamawa and Akwa Ibom states have 14 non-returning lawmakers (each), who will go home with N60.76m.
Katsina State’s 13 non-returning lawmakers will go home with N56.42m; Bayelsa State’s 12 lawmakers will go home with N52.08m while Abia State’s 11 non-returning lawmakers will get a total of N47.74m. Taraba State’s 10 non-returning lawmakers will receive a total of N43.4m.
Ebonyi and Borno states tied at nine lawmakers that will go home with a total of N39.06m per state. Cross River State has only four non-returning lawmakers who will go home with N17.36m while Rivers State produced only three non-returning state lawmakers who will get N13.02m.
Incidentally, Lagos State whose governor could not get the party’s ticket produced the least number of only one non-returning lawmaker that will get N4.34m.
Severance allowance is paid to political office holders at the end of their tenure. There are other allowances which they receive while in service. These include motor fuelling allowance, furniture allowance, newspaper allowance, hardship allowance and a host of others.
However, the SERAP has called the attention of the public to this “outrageous Practice”. See Tweet below
BREAKING: Fourteen governors, their deputies and 434 state lawmakers who will not be returning to government will be going home with N2.06bn.
We'll continue to challenge this outrageous practice for the sake of millions of Nigerians who deserve good governance and development.
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) April 20, 2019
The agency had earlier called on the Code of Conduct Bureau CCB to make public, asset declaration submitted to the bureau by successive presidents and governors from 1999 to 2019, Naija News reports