The former Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, is expected to receive an allowance of N25 million every four years, two Sport Utility Vehicles, and a lifetime pension.
This development is as a result of a new bill that was passed during a plenary on May 25 by the Benue state House of Assembly.
The bill confers a lifetime maintenance bill for former elected governors and their deputies in the state into law.
The bill is titled, “bill for a law to make provisions for the maintenance of former governors of the state and their deputies for other matters connected thereto”. It is expected to cover all governors and their deputies democratically elected since 1999.
Since Benue was created in 1976, it has had three democratically elected governors: George Akume, Gabriel Suswam and Samuel Ortom.
TheCable reported that the lifetime pension bill was forwarded to the state house of assembly in April 2023 and was passed by the lawmakers and assented the same day by Ortom — four days to the end of his eight-year tenure.
The law states that the elected governor and their deputies will be entitled to a monthly stipend equivalent to the basic salary of a serving/incumbent governor and its deputy in the state.
The law provides that the ‘monthly stipend’ be charged from the states Consolidated Revenue Funds.
A CRF is a fund generated by the states from pay-as-you-earn tax, direct assessment, road taxes, and revenues from some ministries, departments, and agencies.
That means the law prioritises the payment of the monthly stipend to the ex-governors and their deputies against other expenses like salaries, pensions and gratuity of the citizens.
The state government is also mandated to avail the former governors 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 also provides that all former governors are entitled to N25 million and N15 million to the former deputies as maintenance allowance every four years.
The law also stipulates that a former governor will be entitled to two official SUV cars of his status “and one official SUV car of his status as former deputy governor”.
Others include “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”.