Benue Assembly members have passed the Maintenance of Former Elected Governors of Benue State Bill which provides Life pension to Ex-Governors and their deputies, just days to handover, but after the Honourables were paid part of their outstanding entitlements.
The bill had previously been presented to the House but the lawmakers suspended sitting and shunned passage of the bill, arguing that the state government was owing them six months salary arrears and three months overhead.
The Pension Bill was initiated by the outgoing governor, Samuel Ortom seeking to place ex-governors and their deputies on bogus gratuity, pension, and other benefits.
The lawmakers were thereafter paid three out of six months’ salary arrears and three months overhead by the Benue State government on Thursday 25 May 2023. Subsequently, the lawmakers passed the bill after receiving alerts of the payment.
However, the lawmakers said the version of the Maintenance of Former Elected Governors of Benue State Bill passed had extensive changes compared to the initial version sent by the executive, and this was done because they had in mind the dire financial situation of the State.
Some of the changes made on the bill are, the four cars for governors was reduced to two, the two cars for deputies was reduced to one, the portion to provide accommodation to past governors at any place of their choice in Nigeria was expunged and the portion of medical trips abroad twice a year was reduced to once a year.
As it is now, the governors and deputies are likely to still enjoy, life pension (same salary as incumbent), two/one car(s) every four years for governors/deputies, free medical treatment abroad for them and their family, personal staff and many more benefits, check out list of all benefits in the link below.
Benue is one of the states in Nigeria with backlog of outstanding pension liabilities, see below status of implementation of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Benue State as at 31 December 2022.
- Enacted the ‘Benue State Pension Reform Law’ in May 2019. The State is in the process of amending the 2019 law and drafted a new Pension Reform Bill in 2022.
- Established a Pension Bureau.
- The State has registered its employees with Pension Funds Administrators.
- Commenced deduction and remittance of both employer and employee pension contributions into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of the employees of three (3) Tertiary Institutions and all the Twenty-Three (23) Local Government Councils. However, the employer contributions for the Local Government employees stopped in October 2020. Remitting only 8% employees’ Pension
- Yet to commence remittance of 10% employer pension contributions for all other Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
- Yet to conduct an Actuarial Valuation to determine the employees’ Accrued Pension Rights but the State has signed a contract with two Actuarial firms to carryout the actuarial valuation for the State and Local Governments employees.
- Yet to open a Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account.
- Yet to commence funding of Accrued Pension Rights.
- Yet to institute a Group Life Insurance Policy.
- State has backlog of pension liabilities.
Check here for Status of Implementation of CPS in all States in Nigeria
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