Retiring Nigerian State Governors to Receive Generous Benefits Despite Mounting Debts and Unrest

Seventeen state governors in Nigeria are set to retire and receive generous retirement benefits despite mounting debts, unhappy workers, and pensioners. The governors will hand over to their successors on May 29, 2023.

The outgoing governors, who will have completed two terms of eight years in office, will be entitled to generous monetary pensions, mansions to be built in locations of their choice, luxury vehicles, and domestic as well as security aides. The pension benefits are based on laws passed by their respective state houses of assembly. The governors will be entitled to different benefits based on the pension laws of their states.

According to the report by The Punch, here are the details of the retirement package for some of the state governors who will be leaving office on May 29, 2023:

  1. Rivers State: Governor Nyesom Wike and his deputy will enjoy generous benefits after leaving office as provided in the Rivers State Pensions for Governor and Deputy Governor Law, 2012. The law provides that three new vehicles should be purchased for former governors, and the vehicles are to be changed every four years. This is in addition to the payment of 100 per cent of their basic salaries, 300 per cent of their annual basic salary for furniture, free medical services, and provision for entertainment. Their deputies also enjoy certain perks. The law also provides for two choice houses in any area of their choice in Rivers State and Abuja and three cars replaceable every three years for the governor.
  2. Delta State: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is entitled to a furnished duplex in Delta State or any other state in the country; medical treatment for him and members of his immediate family; two vehicles, including a utility vehicle, every two years; two armed policemen and one Department of State Security officer; 15 days’ annual vacation in any place of his choice and other benefits. The deputy governor is also entitled to similar perks. The Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and other Benefits Law, 2005 was signed into law by former governor James Ibori.
  3. Akwa Ibom State: Governor Udom Emmanuel and his deputy are expected to enjoy similar retirement benefits as provided in the state’s Pension Act, 2014, which reportedly spends an average of N267.78m yearly on ex-governors and their deputies. They are entitled to the replacement of official and utility vehicles every four years.
  4. Kano State: Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his deputy are entitled to 100 per cent of their basic salaries, a six-bedroom house, and free medical treatment for them and members of their families upon handover on May 29, 2023. The law guiding pension rights for former governors and deputy governors also states that they will get well-equipped offices.
  5. Jigawa State: The Jigawa State ‘Former Public Officers Pension and other Benefits Law No. 15 of 2015’ stipulates that a governor, who successfully completes his term without impeachment, will be entitled to a monthly pension equivalent to the current salary of the current governor, two brand new vehicles to be provided by the state government and to be replaced after every four years, a six-bedroom fully furnished house, two personal assistants not below grade level 10, two drivers selected by the governor and to be paid by the state, a fully furnished office in any location of choice, and fully paid medical treatment within Nigeria and abroad. The deputy governor is also entitled to similar perks.
  6. Zamfara State: Governor Bello Matawalle lost his re-election bid and will complete his four-year tenure on May 28, 2023. The ‘Grant of Pension to Governor or Deputy Governor (Amendment Law), 2006’ made provision for pension and other benefits for the governor and deputy governor. The benefits include a pension for life at a rate equivalent to the salary of the incumbent governor, two vehicles to be replaced every four years, a furnished 5-bedroom house, two personal staff, and medical expenses for the governor and his immediate family. The deputy governor is entitled to a pension for life at a rate equivalent to the salary of the incumbent deputy governor, one vehicle to be replaced every four years, and a furnished 4-bedroom house.