While Nigeria is groaning under the weight of the fall of the naira and the fluctuating price of crude oil, there are currently 21 senators receiving pensions as former governors. These senators who once served as governors are receiving a double income.

The senators who once served as governors are Bukola Saraki of Kwara, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Kabiru Gaya of Kano, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Theodore Orji of Abia, Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi, Shaaba Lafiagi of Kwara, Joshua Dariye of Plateau Jonah Jang of Plateau, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Ahmed Sani Yarima of Zamfara, Danjuma Goje of Gombe, Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe, Adamu Aliero of Kebbi, George Akume of Benue and Isiaka Adeleke of Osun. Former deputy governors in the Senate are Ms Biodun Olujimi of Ekiti and Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe of Abia. Danladi Abubakar Sani served as the acting governor of Taraba state. Some former governors who are now ministers are also receiving a double income. They include Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Chris Ngige of Anambra and Babatunde Fashola of Lagos. It is important to note that many of these former governors spent 8 years as governors and some of them are going to the senate for the third time. To mention a few, the likes of Oluremi Tinubu representing Lagos Central and Abdullahi Adamu representing one of the three senatorial district in Nasarawa are vying for a seat at the senate for the third time. Time will fail me to mention the likes David Mark who has been at the senate since 1999.

Why won’t unemployment exist? The old class have refused to give way to the fresh graduates and active individuals who are more capable of good governance. They all have refused to disappear from the political radar. They take selfish pleasure in going to the Red chamber which has become a retirement home for ex-governors and ex deputy governor who go there to sleep and snore during plenary and collect heavy retirement benefits for saying nothing. They tend to matters only if it will add to the zeros in their personal treasury.

For instance, in Akwa Ibom, the state pension law acknowledges that the former governor and deputy governor receive pensions for life which are equivalent to the salaries of the incumbent governor and his deputy. The package also includes a new official car and utility vehicle every four years; one personal aide; a cook, chauffeurs and security guards for the governor at a sum not exceeding N5 million per month and N2.5 million for his deputy governor.

In addition, the law in Rivers provides 100 percent of annual basic salaries for the ex-governor and deputy, one residential house for the former governor “anywhere of his choice in Nigeria”; one residential house anywhere in Rivers for the deputy, three cars for the ex-governor every four years and two cars for the deputy every four years. In Lagos, a former governor will get two houses, one in Lagos and another in Abuja, estimated at N500 million in Lagos and N700 million in Abuja. He also receives six new cars to be replaced every three years; a furniture allowance of 300 percent of annual salary to be paid every two years, and aN30 million pension annually for life. The law in Kwara allows Saraki to get two cars and a security car to be replaced every three years, a “well-furnished 5-bedroom duplex,” furniture allowance of 300 per cent of his salary; five personal staff and three SSS. Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu who is the media aide to Saraki confirmed that the governor receives all the benefits but said the money goes in scholarships to students of Kwara. He said the Senate president “directed that a special account should be opened into which the money should be paid and that it should be used for a scholarship and education programme to be administered by a Board of Trustees.”Dariye said he was receiving more than N600,000 in monthly pension and that this should not stop the state from paying salaries.

Furthermore, more state executives are already considering the option of moving to the senate after their tenure. For instance, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun is vying for Ogun Central senatorial district ticket in 2019 Elections and return (where he once a stint between 2003 and 2007) to the red chamber. Likewise, the immediate-past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, told a coalition of Bomadi Local Government Area elders led by Reverend Gbenekuru England and dozens of youths that nothing will stop his senatorial ambition come this year.

If this vicious trend continues, Nigeria’s treasury will be milked dry. We will be left with nothing but poverty and corruption to show the coming generation – today will then be a better yesterday tomorrow. Sudanese-British Billionaire, Mo Ibrahim, once asked in an African youth conference where OBJ was also present, “where will these old African leaders take you to? To their grave?”

I ask the same question today!