Benue state House of Assembly has passed into law, a lifetime maintenance bill for former elected Governors and their deputies in the state, starting from 1999.
The “bill for a law to make provisions for the maintenance of former governors of the state and their deputies for other matters connected thereto” was passed Thursday during plenary at the Assembly complex in Makurdi.
Presiding, the speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Titus Uba, read through the bill presented by Chairman, House Committee on Business and Rules, Hon. Geoffrey Agbatse, which revealed conditions of the law to include, payment of monthly stipend as basic pensions for former governor’s and their deputies, equivalent to the current salaries of the serving governor and deputy, from the consolidated revenue of the state.
The state government by the law is also mandated to avail a former governor with six personal staff including one personal assistant, two drivers, two cleaners and one cook, while a former deputy governor will enjoy three personal staff including one personal assistant, one driver, and one cleaner.
“The law stipulates a maintenance allowance of N25 million for the Governor and N15 million the deputies every four years.
It also stipulates the provision of two official SUV cars of his status as former governor and one official SUV car of his status as former Deputy Governor.
Others include the provision of security personnel on a 24hrs guard on surveillance as the former governor directs in his lifetime, coverage of yearly medical expenses, a replacement of vehicles every four years with new ones of same quality and status, and six personal staff for the governor to be paid by the state including a personal assistant, two drivers, two cleaners, one cook and three personal staff for the deputy Governor to be paid by the state including one personal assistant, one driver, and one cleaner.
After a clause-by-clause consideration, clerk of the house, Benard Nule, read the bill for the third time.
Commenting, minority leader, Hon Bem Mngutyo while seconding the motion described the bill as the most contagious execute bill which received public outcry and criticism.
Mngutyo commended the 9th assembly for critically examining and scrutinizing the bill, to reduce the earlier magnitude of N6Billion monthly expenditure accrued for the maintenance of former governors and their deputies to its barest minimum adding that former governors deserve pensions and maintenance for the services rendered in the state.