Amaechi, Predecessors To Get Two Houses, Largesse As Pension

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... As RSHA Move To Review Governor’s Pension

PORT HARCOURT, March 27, (THEWILL) - The Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) is nearing the passage of a bill that will see current governor, Rotimi Amaechi, his deputy and their predecessors earn 100 per cent of their basic salaries, in addition to other benefits, when they quit office.

The RSHA Committee on Finance, headed by Honourable Josiah John Olu disclosed this at a public hearing on the Rivers State Public Office Holders (Payment of Pension) Bill 2012 conducted at the premises of the Assembly on Tuesday.

According to the bill, the governor will be provided with two houses in any place of his choice in Abuja and Rivers State. He will also have three cars that will be replaced every three years and receive 300 per cent funding for any furniture of his choice.

Other benefits include: 20 per cent funding for utility, 10 per cent funding for entertainment, and 10 per cent for houses of their choice. This is in addition to free medical expenses for him and his immediate family; and security details that will include two officials of the State Security Service (SSS), one female officer of the same department, eight police officers for personal and domestic security, and domestic staff including a cook, steward, gardener and others. All the domestic staff, including drivers, shall be pensionable.

The benefits available to the deputy governor only come with slight differences.

Speaker of the RSHA, Otelemaba Daniel Amachree said the aim of the bill, when passed into law, is to take care of holders of the offices, provided they were not impeached before the expiration of their tenures.

Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon Olu, told the public that the Assembly, by presenting the bill, is seeking to restructure a similar extant law made in 2003, saying that the endeavour is guided by the provisions of Section 124 sub section 1 and 2 of the 1999 constitution.

In his submission, state commissioner for budget and economic planning, Gogo Charles said the bill is to ensure those who serve in government do not leave in tears

“It is an attempt to domesticate the federal act, and a great improvement on the existing Rivers State law of 2003. If you know that if you serve as a governor and complete your tenure, you will be remunerated for life, then the tendency to be corrupt will be reduced,” he argued.

Some participants at the hearing expressed desire to have former lawmakers, elected local government officials and even student union leaders benefit from the law.