Former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforoji has defended the pension bill passed for former Governor Bola Tinubu and other governors of the state and also, the law that allowed Alpha Beta Consultancy to collect taxes on behalf of the Lagos State Government.
Speaking in an interview, Ikuforiji under whose speakership the pension law was approved said that the pension provisions and the tax law could be reviewed if considered unfavourable to the state.
He spoke on Arise Tv Good Morning Show on Thursday.
On the pension law, which provides that the state government provides two houses for a former governor in Lagos and Abuja, allows him to 100% of his emoluments after office and six new cars every three years, Ikuforiji said:
“We did not make law for the particular governor in office by the time, we made the law for all governors of Lagos State.
“One of the things I feel very bad about is that we have become people who are not grateful for whatever good is done for them. That’s the honest truth about us as a people. The way Nigerians treat their past leaders in whatever capacity, past office holders, public office holders or civil servants, I think we are not doing well at all and some of these things need to change.
“This issue of compensation for former governors and former deputy governors, we are exaggerating it.
“You are just exaggerating it. The honest truth is that the law is there and the law is not in cast in gold. If there is need to make amendments to the law, the current house should do so.
“We should not exaggerate it. When people serve and you don’t appreciate them, don’t blame people who are there who now mess up by taking care of themselves before taking care of others. I think that if we know that our leaders have taken care of us, we should make provision to take care of them,” Ikuforiji said of the Lagos pension law for former governors.
On the law that allowed a tax consultancy, Alpha Beta to collect taxes on behalf of the government, Ikuforiji in defending the proposal said:
“The result is that the IGR of Lagos State has moved from N600 million in 1999 to over N50 billion today. Why don’t you look at the cost and the result? The result has been encouraging and many other states have also copied it.
“This issue of a particular company or not a company does not come into effect, what the House did was to pass a law to say, okay, the executive can do this in order to shore up the revenue of the state government. If a particular company came in and was able to get that contract and was able to do what is right, was able to increase the volume the IGR to more than 20, 40 times.”
Tasked on how fair it was for Alpha Beta to have collected N150 billion for itself, he said:
“Nigerians we like to hammer on what is not to our advantage, and what is to the advantage of others.
Giving a comparison on the real estate where he said brokers take up to 10% on property deals, he said:
“What is the big deal about 10% for somebody who helped to shore up our revenue base. If the present house thinks it is too high let the House go into it and do the needful.”
Ikuforiji used the opportunity to pay glorious tributes to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as a democrat who according to him did not interfere with the legislative arm of government as governor and accorded the legislature its due respect.