The governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has disclosed plans to scrap payment of pension to former governors and their deputies in the state. This is coming three days after the governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced plans to discontinue the practice in his state.
Abdulrazaq stated this in a tweet on Friday. He said, “In line with our campaign mantra and the yearnings of our people, next week I will be sending a bill to the State House of Assembly to revoke the law awarding pension packages to former governors and former deputy governors in Kwara State. Our state needs all the resources it can get to improve our human capital development.”
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This is rather a positive development. Several times I have argued on this platform the need for us to heavily cut down our spending capacity as a nation. We spend quite a huge sum of money on needless appointments and white elephants. This is largely part of why Nigeria has remained stagnant and poor after 60 years of independence.
Typically, the president alongside state governors appoints various aides and special advisers. We’ve heard of cases in which a state governor appointed more than 100 special advisers. One wonders why. It’s even sadder that former governors and their deputies are entitled to huge pensions and entitlements.
For me, I am in full support of this bill and for the good of Kwara state, I urge that the house of assembly pass this bill. We spend way too much on needless things. We spend way so much than we earn. A good chunk of our revenue is spent to take care of our leaders while the citizens are not catered for.
It is insane that Nigeria overwhelmingly lacks basic infrastructure. We do not have good roads. We do not have stable electricity. We lack clean water. We do not have housing. We do not have good education. We not have security. We do not have sustainable agriculture. We do not have functional transportation.
Just yesterday, the spokesman of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu said the clamour by Nigerians for lawmakers to reduce their salaries was rather misplaced. Though he agreed that the cost of governance in Nigeria needs to be reduced, he said that focus should be on the executive branch instead of them.
While I partly agree with this sentiment, I argued in an article I wrote earlier today that what we need is a holistic overhaul. We need to cut down on the cost of governance throughout all our arms and tiers of government. Kwara state has taken a cue from Lagos state. Other states will do themselves a world of good by following suit.