The Lagos State House of Assembly has approved the recommendation by the House Committee on Establishment to reduce the pensions of the former governors and other affected officers by 50 percent.
During plenary on Thursday, the lawmakers also approved committee’s recommendation that former governors would no longer be provided with houses in Abuja and Lagos as was hitherto the practice in the state.
Also in the recommendation is a reduction in the number of vehicles to be provided for the former governors and their deputies.
The Speaker of the House, Dr. Mudashiru Obasa, suggested that former governors should get two vehicles, a car and a van, instead of three as recommended by the committee.
He also suggested that the amended bill should provide that the cars should be changed every four years instead of the three years as contained in the recommendation.
However, while some lawmakers, pushed for an upward review of the pension for the affected public officers by 75 percent, others insisted that it remained as provided for in the old law.
But, Obasa argued that since the Committee had recommended for the cancellation of houses in Abuja and Lagos, as well as a reduction in other benefits, the should be left at 50 percent.
Recalling the recent murder of the president of Haiti, Obasa said it was necessary to also secure the lives of the former office holders.
“By virtue of my office, I have seen former Speakers who we just had to intervene in their lives because of the situations they found themselves outside office. We have also seen former governors in a very bad situation,” he said.
He noted the argument of his colleagues that the projected downward review of the pension for the former governors and others could also be affected by inflation and other economic considerations, but reminded that the House must meet the wishes of the people, one of which is to reduce the cost of governance.
“We must realise that this is democracy and it is all about the people. We are here because of the people. When we represent people, it is good for us to listen to them as well.
“We must realise that we would always go back to the people for support. So, when we hearken to their agitations and reduce what existed, it shows that we listen,” he stated.
The Speaker added that his suggestion for further reduction of the number of cars was because “as you age, your needs continue to decrease.”