SWITZERLAND, MAY 23 – Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has said that his government financed a bill on the repeal of Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges Law of 2007 because it was illegal and designed to encourage a few privileged individuals to swindle the commonwealth of the people.
After signing the bill into law yesterday at Government House, Owerri, the Governor noted that the law had become necessary because it ran contrary to the 1999 Constitution as amended, which stipulates that only who those have worked for at least 10 years and are up to 45 years are entitled to pension payments. He pointed out that former governors and Speakers stay in office for a maximum of eight years.
The governor said “As a young state grappling with enormous challenges, it dawned on me that the Imo state Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges Law No 5 of 2007 was a bad omen. At the age our governors and speakers are leaving office it will not be out of place to assume that many of them will be alive and kicking in the next 15 years or more. This will mean that by then the state will have more than 20 governors and Speakers qualified for Pensions and Privileges
”I was alarmed that the financial implications for the state will not only be scandalous but indefensible. My simple calculation told me that there could come a time when the state could be spending more than one-third of its resources to maintain former governors and speakers.
“The same governors and speakers also received severance allowances, amounting to several millions of naira, when they disengage from office. How then can the same category of former public office holders turn around to receive pensions?”
He also mentioned that the law has led for a very long time a precedence that does not encourage diligence and prudence in service delivery.
The governor assented to the bill, repealing the pensions law which was passed by the House of Assembly on Thursday.
Uzodinma thanked the Imo State House of Assembly for rising to the occasion and embracing totally the desire of the government to strengthen the internally generated revenue base of the State, Uzodinma assured of his commitment and desire to grow an economy that would stand the test of time.