Controversial Benue State Law Grants Lifetime Pensions and Benefits to Former Leaders Amidst Financial Crisis

…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media. On May 25, 2023, the Benue state house of Assembly passed a bill that approves lifetime pensions and benefits for former governors and their deputies.


This decision has garnered attention and raised concerns, particularly due to reports of delayed salary payments and significant pension backlogs in the state.

The Law and its Provisions:

The law, named “bill for a law to make provisions for the maintenance of former governors of the state and their deputies,” aims to encompass all democratically elected governors and deputies since 1999.

It outlines that ex-governors and deputies will receive a monthly stipend equivalent to the salary of the current office holders.

Personal Staff and Allowances:

Under this legislation, the state government is mandated to provide former governors with six personal staff members, including a personal assistant, two drivers, two cleaners, and one cook.

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Former deputy governors will have three personal staff members comprising a personal assistant, a driver, and a cleaner.

Additionally, the law specifies that all former governors will be entitled to a maintenance allowance of N25 million every four years, while former deputies will receive N15 million during the same period.


Official Vehicles and Funds:

The law also ensures that a former governor is entitled to two official SUV cars of their status, along with one official SUV car corresponding to their former position as deputy governor.

These funds will be withdrawn from the state’s Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF) and take precedence over other financial obligations, including citizen salaries, pensions, and gratuities.

The law does not set a budget limit for these provisions.

Additional Benefits and Financial Challenges:

The law includes other benefits such as round-the-clock security, full medical coverage, and personal staff.

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However, it does not address the state’s financial difficulties.

As of May 2, 2023, state employees and pensioners were owed 10-11 months and 38 months of salary and pensions, respectively.

Lawmakers themselves had suspended sessions due to six months of unpaid salaries and allowances.

Debt and Financial State of Benue:

The passage of this law raises questions about the financial feasibility of such provisions.


As of December 2022, Benue’s debt stood at N141.3 billion, ranking it as the 13th most indebted state in Nigeria according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Furthermore, the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) remains disappointing, with N12.6 billion, N10.5 billion, and N17.2 billion accumulated in its IGR account for 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics.

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The enactment of this controversial law, granting lifetime benefits to former state leaders while many citizens face economic hardships, is expected to ignite a passionate debate about fiscal responsibility and the priorities of the Benue government.

The decision to prioritize generous pensions and benefits for former leaders amidst ongoing financial challenges is likely to draw scrutiny and discussion about the allocation of resources in the state.


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About the Author:

A seasoned and experienced writer who has been writing for many years, with over 25 years experience and special interest in journalistic writeups. Dorcas Funmi has thought many classes and trained many writers. Now retired, she focuses on writing news articles.

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