Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos will be the first governor in Lagos State since 2007 to miss out on a mansion in Abuja after leaving office, The Punch’s investigation has revealed.
The Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law No 11 official Gazette of Lagos State, 2007 states that former governors of Lagos State are entitled to a house in Lagos and Abuja in any location of their choice.
Section 2 states, “One residential house each for the governor and the deputy governor at any location of their choice in Lagos State and one residential house in the Federal Capital Territory for the governor on two consecutive terms.”
Following his loss to Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the All Progressives Congress governorship primary in October, Ambode will not be returning to the Alausa Governor’s Office on May 29, 2019.
The state government has built houses for former governors of the state in Lagos and Abuja in line with the law.
A house was bought for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Ikoyi and the Asokoro area of Abuja next to the Lagos State Governor’s Lodge.
Although no actual figure was placed on how much the houses procured would cost, The Punch learnt that to build or buy houses for former governors of Lagos would cost between N500m and N1bn.
For instance, the construction of a “section” of the house of the immediate past Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, on 15 Cameron Drive, Ikoyi, costs the state N329,929,551, according to the Lagos State budget of 2014, which was obtained by The Punch.
However, Ambode will be entitled to other fringe benefits which comprise a house in any location in Lagos State, six brand new cars every three years, 100 percent of the basic salary of the serving governor, (N7.7m per annum) free health care for himself and members of his family.
The law also says a former governor will be entitled to furniture allowance, which is 300 percent of their annual basic salary (N23.3m); house maintenance allowance, which is 10 per cent of basic salary (N778, 296); utility allowance, which is 20 percent of the salary (N1.5m) and car maintenance allowance, which is 30 percent of the annual basic salary (N2.3m).
Other benefits include entertainment allowance, which is 10 percent of the basic salary (N778,296) and a personal assistant, who will earn 25 percent of the governor’s annual basic salary (N1.9m).
The law adds that a former governor is entitled to domestic workers comprising a cook, a steward, a gardener and others whose appointments are pensionable.
A former governor will be entitled to eight policemen and two officials of the Department of State Services for life, according to the Lagos law.
However, any governor of the state will miss out on all the goodies if he is removed from office by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Ambode, on Monday, formally endorsed Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, as the Lagos State’s APC standard bearers for the 2019 governorship election.
He urged those still aggrieved with the fallout of the primaries of the party to follow his example, and accept the party’s supremacy.
Speaking with The Punch on phone, the Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said it was immoral for former governors to be given life pensions.
He noted that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission had approved payment of 300 percent of basic salary as severance allowances (N6.6m) for political office holders on leaving office.
He said, “The fact that you become a governor of a state should not make you entitled to all those mind-boggling emoluments.”