The Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights, CHSER, on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, lauded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s plan to abolish pensions for former governors and their allowances.
Sanwo-Olu had disclosed the plan while presenting the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N1.15 trillion before the Lagos State House of Assembly tagged “Budget of Rekindled Hope”.
He said that the move was in order to cut cost of governance and the repeal bill would soon be sent to the House for approval.
Reacting to the development, the National President of the CHSR, Mr Alex Omotehinse, said that the step was long overdue, to reduce cost of governance for the benefit of residents.
Omotehinse said: “We appreciate the governor for his pro-people move. It is in the best interest of Lagos residents.
“There is abject poverty in the land, there is huge hunger and many people are finding things really hard now.
“The cost of governance has really deprived so many citizens of the dividends of democracy.
“What Sanwo-Olu intends to do is welcome, but there are still so many holes to be blocked for people to get happiness in this democracy” .
He said that the CHSR had called for the repeal of the law granting life pensions to ex-governors and their deputies in some states in July, in the light of dwindling economic growth.
“We sent a petition dated July 2, 2020, and addressed to the speaker of the Lagos Assembly and the governor to block this waste during our world press conference.
“We are happy about the bold move by Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu,” he said.
The rights activist said that many parts of the state were finding it difficult to access potable water, and urged Sanwo-Olu to use the saved funds from the abolished pensions to provide water for residents.
“The proceeds can be channeled to give Lagos residents good, clean and drinkable water.
“We still lack water among other basic necessities of life. We want the governor to use the proceeds to reform and revitalise the Lagos State Water Corporation.
“Despite the fact that we are surrounded by water, Lagos still lacks water.
“For the people to see the effect of this bold step, let the government use the proceeds to fix the problem of water scarcity confronting the state,” the CHSR president said.