Former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, says he is not one of many former governors who enjoy huge pension packages.
Osoba, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), in a chat with journalists in Lagos, said his monthly package “is consistent with the rules and regulations of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).”
Osoba said he never received outrageous pension packages from the Government of Ogun State since he left office almost 15 years ago.
According to him, “the only thing I collect from Ogun State since I left office is N676,000 monthly.”
Osoba recalled that during the administration of Gbenga Daniel, he was not paid his entitlement until some top traditional rulers and other prominent people in the state intervened before he started receiving some of his entitlements.
He said the N676,000 pension “does not even cover the cost of fuelling my car in a month. The tax that I pay to Ogun State yearly is in millions when you look at the balance sheet. I am putting more into the coffer of Ogun State than what I am taking from the state.
“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.”
Osoba added 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,” he said.
Osoba, therefore, noted that he was not against the regular change of vehicles for ex-governors, explaining that lives of former governors “are endangered because we must have stepped on a lot of toes with the decisions that we took when we were in office.”
Osoba condemned ostentatious living, saying the government “can change a car as recommended by the RMAFC, but not a fleet of cars. That is too much. Changing a car once in a while is not too much, though I have never benefited from this provision.”
He disclosed that the only time the Government of Ogun State changed his car was when he turned 70, almost nine years ago, noting that the state government “has not given me that privilege since the last 15 years.
“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.
“For example, I had major health challenges last year, which led to my travelling to the United Kingdom for medical treatment. Between May and December, I was in and out of different hospitals.
“But I am happy that I had successful surgeries. I do not use recommended glasses anymore, which has been part of me for over 70 years. I paid £20,000 deposit in one of the hospitals and by January 1 this year, I paid the £10,000 balance for the treatment.
“The total cost of my treatment was nearly £100,000 pounds, but I refused to put the burden on the neck of Ogun State. As a former governor my health is part of their problem and if I die today, the state will bury me.
“But I just did not bother myself. Since the state government did not ask me about the medical procedure, when they knew what I went through, I did bother them with the details. What I cannot afford in my private life I would not go for it in any public office I find myself.”