The Edo State House of Assembly recently amended the bill for a Law for Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor. The immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, and his former deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, are beneficiaries.
Following the expiration of their tenures, the former and latter will get residential buildings worth N200m and N100m respectively as benefits.
Other benefits to be enjoyed by the former governor are a pension for life at a rate equivalent to 100 per cent of his last annual salary among other benefits. His deputy governor, on the other hand, is entitled to 100 per cent of his last annual salary as pension plus other benefits.
It is sad that this is coming at a time when the Edo State Government has a backlog of pension arrears and its citizens are experiencing intolerable levels of hardship. Nigeria’s economy has suffered a downturn and now is the time for government to be prudent with its finances.
Why not invest the money that has been earmarked for Oshiomhole and Odubu in a capital project that will benefit the citizens of the state? This sole incident brings to fore again the notion that public office-holders only care about enriching themselves and living a comfortable life.
Why must Oshiomhole and his former deputy governor get new houses? I am sure they already have their own personal houses; so I don’t understand the rationale behind government’s commitment to using tax-payers’ money to put up new buildings for them.
The action of the Edo State House of Assembly only goes further to demonstrate its ineptitude. What it has done is to act in an exaggerated manner in order to earn the appeal of Oshiomhole.
As a former leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress, I expected that he would turn down the ludicrous benefits but as it stands now, he has joined the rank of public officers who have become insensitive to the plight of Nigeria and Nigerians.