29th November, 2022
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday paid N489,019,913.95 as severance allowances to past political office holders at the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LGs/LCDAs) levels.
The political office holders served between 2004 and 2007, during the second term of former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Distributing cheques to the 715 beneficiaries at the Lagos Government Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Community Affairs, Bolaji Kayode Robert, said the political office holders were not paid their severance then because of the disagreement between the state government the federal government on the creation of 37 LCDAs.
Robert said 715 elected and political appointees were affected then, saying that the disagreement led to a serious political crisis “between the State Government and Federal Government, and the latter subsequently withheld all Statutory Allocations due to Lagos State for that period in a bid to cripple the entire councils with paucity of funds.
“That scenario led to the non-payment of the Statutory Severance Allowance due to that first set of people who served as political appointees in the various councils till their tenure lapsed in Year 2007.”
Robert stated that while the previous administrations in the State had made efforts to meet their demands for the payment of this severance entitlements, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Chairmen of the 57 council approved the payment of the money as severance allowance to the ex-political office holders.
“This is to show that Lagos is different from other states. This is a state that runs its governance on continuity. Today’s beneficiaries were not owed by Sanwo-Olu, but paying them this severance allowance shows that governance needs continuity.
“The beneficiaries are also pioneer appointees of the LCDAs created by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who ensured that the councils remained existent, with salaries and entitlements paid, and development continued throughout the state, despite the fact that the Federal Government of the day withheld local government allocations.
“Even after Tinubu’s tenure as governor, successive administrations have kept up with their welfare. Today, they are getting what rightly belongs to them because we have a listening governor.
“The payment is the responsibility of the local governments, but the state decided to be magnanimous and bear 50 per cent counterpart funding. It is also worthy to note that deceased beneficiaries are represented by their relatives, so we thank Governor Sanwo-Olu for the gesture,” Robert stated.
Permanent Secretary, Local Government and Community Affairs, Mrs Kikelomo Bolarinwa thanked the beneficiaries for their ‘great service to the growth and development of Lagos.’
She said the gathering was one that resounded and attested to government’s commitment to the welfare of every citizen in Lagos political space, especially political office holders who had contributed immensely to the state’s development.
“We cannot shy away from the tremendous roles and efforts you all have contributed in making Lagos the most enviable state in Nigeria, and one of the most thriving cities in Africa. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and this is why Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has graciously approved this presentation of severance allowances to commend and appreciate you for your admirable efforts as past political office holders and government functionaries,” she stated.
Bolarinwa appealed to all beneficiaries to continue to contribute their quota to the development of a Greater Lagos, by consolidating government’s efforts to achieving the “Lagos of our dream. I pray that we will all prosper with whatever we invest our severance-allowances into.”