Lagos—FORMER governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, says he has never benefited from the outrageous pension packages for former governors and their deputies across states in Nigeria.
Osoba also disclosed that the only amount he receives monthly from the government of Ogun State since he left office in 2003 is N676,000.
Speaking to journalists at his residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, Osoba said his monthly package is consistent with the provisions of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.
During the administration of former governor Gbenga Daniel, he disclosed that the state government did not pay his entitlement until some highly placed traditional rulers and other prominent people in the state intervened.
He said the N676,000 pension does not even cover the cost of fuelling his car in a month.
Osoba, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said: “I pay my tax to Lagos and Ogun States. I do my civic responsibility by making my annual tax returns voluntarily. I pay to Lagos and Ogun because I reside in the two places. What I pay back to the state is in millions compared to what they (state government) pay to me.
“I will only speak for myself. I cannot comment on others unless I have facts and figures indicating what they are collecting with what they are collecting in their various appointive or elective offices now. If I am holding any appointive office, I will rather collect all my entitlements because the N676,000 I am collecting from Ogun State cannot sustain me.”
The former Osoba argued that the RMAFC made provisions for changing cars of former governors and their deputies every three years.
“If the issue of car is covered under the law, it is their right and entitlement. Let us be honest with ourselves, in the 1999 Constitution, former presidents and governors are not by law allowed to hold any office with any multinational company or conglomerates.”
The former governor, therefore, noted that he was not against the regular change of vehicles for ex-governors, because, former governors are endangered because they must have stepped on a lot of toes with the decisions they took while in office.
While he condemned the ostentatious lifestyles of former governors and deputies, he said the government can change a car as recommended by the RMAFC, but not a fleet of cars.
He said: “That is too much (fleet of cars). Changing a car once in a while is not too much, though I have never benefited from this provision.”
He explained that the only time the Ogun State government changed his car was when he turned 70 almost nine years ago, noting that the state government has not given him the privilege in the last 15 years.
He said, “I do not mind because the way any governor lays his bed today is the way he will sleep on it tomorrow. If they leave office and ask for what they do not give to me, I will raise the alarm and fault them.”
“Like my medical treatment. I know how much I have spent, but nobody asked me. A lot of prominent Nigerians have asked me to demand it. But I refused to make such demand. I do not want anything scandalous.